Co-op: Planned maintenance outage Monday, Dec. 11 at 10 p.m.

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CULLMAN, Ala. – The Cullman Electric Cooperative has announced a planned outage on Monday, Dec. 11 starting at 10 p.m. The outage is expected to last around three hours and will affect approximately 4,500 Co-op members in the East Point, Berlin, Welti, Simcoe, Duck River, Holly Pond, Union Grove and Walter areas. The planned outage is part of the Co-op’s general maintenance to ensure the success of the newly built Berlin substation, scheduled to come online in early 2024.

“The planned outage is one of the final steps needed to make sure the new Berlin substation is ready to come online early next year. There are several new lines that need to be built and existing lines that need to be moved in order to complete this project, and power lines need to be de-energized for the work to be done safely,” said Brian Lacy, communications and external affairs manager at the Co-op.

Lacy said the planned outage will also allow the Co-op to finish up repairs from storm damage earlier in the year and emphasized the Co-op’s commitment to getting the job done as quickly as possible.

“Because an outage is needed to complete the work in Berlin, we will also use this time to make repairs to equipment that was damaged inside the Holly Pond substation during storms earlier this year,” he said, referencing severe storms that left many without power

To those who may be frustrated with the lack of electricity during Monday evening’s planned outage, Lacy maintained that while there is never a good time for any power outage, working at night allows the Co-op to minimize the impact on businesses, industries and schools when a power outage is necessary to compete repairs and special projects.

For residents who rely on electricity overnight, The Tribune has gathered a few tips:

  • For residents who use continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines, a battery backup compatible with your machine should be sufficient during the three-hour outage. Portable CPAP machines can also be used for several hours on a single charge – just make sure the battery backup or portable machine is fully charged by Monday evening.
  • For residents who use bottle warmers to warm formula or breast milk to feed infants, consider filling a basin with hot water. The water should be hot enough to warm the bottle, but cool enough so that you can place your hand in it. Place the bottle in the warm water for no more than 15 minutes before feeding and always check the temperature of the milk on your wrist before feeding.
  • For residents who use electricity-based heating systems, consider adding another layer to your body through warm socks or a sweater or throw another blanket on the bed before going to sleep. Often, electricity-based heating systems will turn back on automatically after a power outage.
  • For all residents, keep your refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to maintain the cold temperature. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, a refrigerator will keep food cold for about four hours if it is unopened. A full freezer will keep the temperature for approximately 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full) if the door remains closed.
  • For all residents, charge all devices that typically charge overnight before the planned outage, such as cellphones and laptops.

For more information, call the Cullman Electric Cooperative at 256-737-3200 during regular business hours or visit www.cullmanec.com.

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