2017 was a devastating year of hurricanes in the Caribbean. First, there was Irma, then Harvey, then Maria. Hurricane Maria became the strongest storm to hit Puerto Rico in 80 years, destroying homes, roads and bridges, and destroying the island's power delivery system.
In Maria's wake, the US Army Corps of Engineers was tasked with restoring a power system to Puerto Rico. They selected Southern Company subsidiary PowerSecure to mobilize resources for this effort. Power Secure then tapped Southern Company personnel from each of the four electric operating companies and Southern Linc to assist in the power restoration efforts in the island's western region of Mayaguez.
Southern Linc's team of wireless network communications experts worked to establish radio and cellular communications for Southern Company's work crews as they rebuilt Puerto Rico's crippled electrical system. Want to see the full interview? Click here to view the extended interview.
The employees of Southern Linc perform like superheroes when the weather turns dark. Our company's Incident Response Team becomes energized to support our customers in the face of weather adversity. For the current weather event, we mobilized one of our satellite cell sites to assist with communications if needed. We have positioned mobile cell towers as well as generators and microwave dishes at multiple locations inside our footprint so we can deploy the closest equipment when a particular geography is in need.
Here are just some of the things Linc does for storm response:
We track and analyze weather from multiple sources.
We plot a storm's path to determine the sites that will be impacted.
We add more call capacity and fuel at key cell sites when needed.
We send more phones and batteries to the affected areas.
We position satellite and power backups for the network in case our transport connections with network suppliers are lost.
We communicate with federal state and local agencies to support their communications needs.
We are onsite at Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power, and Mississippi Power storm centers to ensure restoration crews have the communications support they need when their trucks begin to roll.
Our people take network reliability seriously. They are dedicated 24/7 until told to return to normal operations. Employees are currently stationed at the GPC and GEMA storm centers.
Our employees take safety seriously, and they act in a safe manner.
Southern Linc has been the choice of GEMA, FEMA, and the Alabama EMA as well as for Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power and Mississippi Power for storm communications because our network is rugged and our support team is reliable...especially when there's an emergency situation. We are dedicated to serving our customers during serious weather events.
Hear more about how Southern Linc supported the Gulf following Hurricane Michael from Southern Linc employee Ronnie Tibbs.