By David Howell
WATER VALLEY – The electric outage scheduled by Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) on Nov. 3 is part of a $1.5 million project to replace wooden poles with steel poles on the transmission line from Coffeeville and Batesville that includes service to Water Valley. During the outage, TVA will be replacing wooden poles with metal poles on the 161-kV transmission lines that serves the Water Valley substation, according to Marcey Wright, TVA Public Relations Consultant.
The outage is scheduled from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m. and to accomplish the work TVA will utilize several crews in order to minimize the inconvenience. Several of the poles that will be changed are actually in the city’s waste waster treatment lagoon, which increases the difficulty in changing poles. While some poles can be changed with the transmission line energized, the location of these poles in the lagoon means that replacing them while the line is energized is not a safe option for TVA crews, Wright reported.
In an email to the Herald, Wright also explained that the steel poles used to replace the current wood poles will have a much longer service life, which will result in increased reliability for the community.
Water Valley Electric Department Manager Andy Hall also reported that Yalobusha General Hospital and Nursing Home and Odom Rural Health Clinic will have full power during the outage. Hall said Tallahatchie Valley Electric Power Association (T.V.E.P.A.) is working with the city to power the health care facilities. Hall said power to the medical facilities will flow from a nearby TVEPA line
“TVEPA has the equipment and transformers to power the medical facilities, that will be a big help,” Hall explained.
Yalobusha General Health Services (YHS) Administrator Terry Varner told the Herald that steps are being taken to ensure that medical care at the hospital and nursing home will not be jeopardized during the outage. Varner also said that YHS will assist anyone in the community who has a health-care device they already own that requires electricity.
Contact the hospital in advance at (662) 473-1411 to make arrangements to come to the nursing home with your medical equipment to plug in for free electricity.
Last week Hall explained that even though the outage was scheduled by TVA, his crews will also utilize the day to replace critical poles in the city, maintenance that can’t be done without a widespread outage. Hall is also requesting everybody who plans to power a residence or business with a generator during the outage to contact Water Valley City Hall and let them know.
“We have to make sure we don’t have backflow from the generator. If the generators are not hooked up right, electricity can flow back through the lines and create a danger for our crews working that day,” Hall explained.