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Linemen in Lake Tahoe Restore Power After Massive Snowstorms

Feb 01, 2017

Linemen Brave Snowstorm; Restore Power to Tahoe Area


Heavy snowfall in most areas usually can result in power outages. Lake Tahoe, no stranger to the white stuff, was no exception in recent weeks.

And that’s when NECA member PAR Electrical Contractors, Inc. and members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in the region made a big difference.

According to a report from IBEW Local 1245, many of Lake Tahoe’s most popular resorts reported record-setting snowfall, with more than 23 feet during the first few weeks of January.

“Heavy snowfall meant a significantly higher-than-average number of outages across the region,” according to reports from the Utility Reporter. “The utility company that services the area, Liberty Energy, needed reinforcements, so they called in a dozen Local 1245 line crews and linemen from Par Electric, Titan and Summit Line to get the power back on.”

PARsnow6PAR Electric Line crew foreman Russell Nolen said just getting to the sites of the restoration work was difficult. 

“We had to chain up all four tires on every vehicle,” he said. “Getting through traffic when there’s only one lane open was tough, but people have been really good about getting out of our way because they know what we’re up against.”

In addition to the challenges on the roads, the Utility Reporter reported that the linemen also had to contend with blowing snow that resulted in decreased visibility, as well as freezing, wet and sometimes slippery conditions. But the experienced crew handled it well, and they set out to finish their task in as safe and efficient manner as possible. Another Par Electric crew was assigned to a larger outage, impacting about 100 people in a residential area just outside Carnelian Bay.

“This is probably the worst snowstorm I’ve seen in a long while,” PAR Electric Crew Foreman Dave Michael said.

To read more about the snowstorms in Lake Tahoe and the Local 1245’s response, click here.

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PAR Electric are members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA). Based in Kansas City, Missouri, PAR has permanent offices across the nation as well as temporary offices near its work sites. Visit parelectric.com to learn more.