Franklin’s electric company worried about ice impact

FRANKLIN, Va. (WAVY) – Nearly 10,000 people call the city of Franklin home and about half of them are customers of the city-run electric company.

The approaching weather system has prompted a major worry for the city.

“The biggest concern in our electric department is ice getting on our power lines,” said City Manager Randy Martin.

60 to 80 miles of electric lines run through the city and out to surrounding counties and communities.

“This snow event is predicted to have a wetter, heavier consistency which could lead to more damage to power lines and tree limbs get heavy and fall on power lines and other damages to our electrical system,” Martin added.

Public Works Director Russ Pace echoed the concerns. “Ice is a tough one. The snow is pretty easy to get rid of, but that ice is the one you really have to fight with.”

Pace says his plow trucks, salt and sand spreaders are ready to roll as the weather warrants, but admits tackling roads is a challenge when covered in ice. “It bonds to the road and it’s hard to get to the surface. Get that salt down to break the bond. If you don’t get it beforehand you’re in trouble.”

Tuesday, Public Works employees spent the day putting gas in the vehicles, cleaning the equipment and replenishing materials in preparation of the winter weather.

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