Upshur Rural Electric making improvements to strengthen their system

WEBXTRA: Upshure power poles

UPSHUR COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - Storm season in East Texas is upon us, and often Upshur Rural Electric Cooperative takes a hard hit. And since the cooperative can’t widen their tree-laden right-of-ways, the company is doing what they can to strengthen existing lines.

Upshur Rural’s Marketing and Communications Manager Tony McCullough says the cooperative is working on something that will help when trees fall on their power lines.

“So we can’t do anything about the right-of-ways because that’s legal. We can’t cut everyone’s trees because their property, but we can try to strengthen our system,” McCullough said.

He says they are doing that by putting up stronger poles, and changing out the line.

“Traditionally we use a point four line; a number four line, and now they’re using a one-aught line, which is a thicker line. Which is heavier so it won’t snap as easy,” McCullough said.

McCullough says they have been doing this as repairs are needed.

“It costs a little bit more. And we have to be cost aware because we’re a non-profit and that’s our member’s money, so we’re doing all we can. But as we replace something, as we put up new line, we’re making sure that it’s going to be there for a while,” McCullough said.

He says replacing storm damaged poles and line with standard equipment in the long run:

“Can cost more than a little bit of extra money to put up the new lines and the heavier poles,” McCullough said.

That of course, is from repeated repairs. So he says basically what they’re doing is:

“Over engineering and looking a little further into the future for security,” McCullough said.

He says that Wednesday they repaired equipment damaged by lightning and winds within 24 hours, and made some upgrades.

“We want to do our part; what we can within our system and within our reach to try to strengthen that system and keep the people’s lights on in the country,” McCullough said.

Another part of the plan involves adding poles to decrease span lengths, as well as intermittently putting up metal poles to add strength to the system.

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WEBXTRA: Upshure power poles