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Preparing for Laura: LUS takes steps to minimize problems

Posted at 9:20 PM, Aug 24, 2020

Alice Drive is buffered by Broadmoor subdivision to the west and Rivers Bend subdivision to the south. Both are heavily wooded subdivisions in Lafayette.

On Monday morning Lafayette Utilities System (LUS) had multiple trucks out there, trying to minimize any potential power outages that Marco and Laura might bring our way.

With storms being storms, Marco and--to a greater degree-- Laura will certainly throw Acadiana some unexpected elements. Even so, interim Lafayette Utilities director Lowell Duhon says his experienced department is trained and that—when it comes to hurricanes—this isn’t their first rodeo.

“Even the crews right now, the head of the crew of the electric part of the deal has been here 35 years: he’s seen Andrew, and the immediate people underneath him have been here 30 years. So, they’ve seen a lot in their time here, and that means a lot that we have that kind of experience on our side.

With strong winds and heavy rains, Hurricanes and lesser-named storms have a way of humbling a community. And although he’s proud of the preps LUS has made, Duhon says his greatest fear is something unknown, something big, something his department might not be able to immediately handle. “Just something big, breaking, that we may not have the capabilities of doing. But after talking to the managers, we have such a redundant system that if something goes out, we have a way of feeding electricity to it.”

LUS crews were out all day, so were five others, and it appears more assistance on a variety of fronts is ready if needed. “We’ve had some vendors call us, letting us know if we need any extra materials, and other municipalities calling us, saying, ‘hey, we’re here to help’, so we’re as prepared as can be,” adds Duhon.

LUS is expecting some help this evening, with four overhead crews-- 25 people--coming from the city of Tallahassee all to help with the tree trimming and the power restoration.

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