Workmen for New Albany Lights, Gas and Water (NALGW) are getting New Albany ready for winter.
Among the hazards of winter at this latitude are ice storms, often accompanied by electrical power failures. While we rarely receive significant snow falls at 34 degrees north latitude, ice storms are a greater threat here than in New England or the Midwest, which routinely get more than three feet of snow every winter.
It is common for rain to fall here when temperatures are at or slightly below 32 F degrees. Ice then accumulates, sometimes very quickly, on surfaces such as power lines, bridges and tree limbs. When tree branches get too heavy with ice, they break, dragging down electrical power lines.
It helps if trees hanging over power lines are trimmed back so they do not fall on the power lines.
Since Bill Mattox came here eight years ago as NALGW manager, line crews have done a more consistent and energetic job of removing tree branches overhanging power lines than in prior years. While tree trimming cannot eliminate all risks of power failure during ice storms, it helps reduce the risk.