MEA Helps Members Rebuild After Sockeye Fire
Crews completing assessments
Palmer, AK. Matanuska Electric Association (MEA) is working with members impacted by the Sockeye fire. Many of MEA’s secondary lines servicing individual homes were damaged in the blaze. MEA crews have completed assessments of 46 meters involved in the fire. Of those 46 services, MEA was able to restore power to 12 members but found 22 meters had been destroyed and an additional 12 services required repair. The number may climb as assessments are completed in remote locations throughout the week.
‘We are aware that many members are anxious to rebuild as soon as possible and MEA wants to do what we can to help,’ stated Julie Estey, Director of Public Relations. ‘We urge members interested in having their existing power restored or temporary power installed for construction to contact us as soon as possible to reduce delays.’
MEA is prioritizing impacted members, however, all restoration or construction services will need to go through MEA’s standard engineering inspection process and be assigned to a line crew for installation before power can be restored. Members should expect up to an approximate 3 week wait time for full restoration requests and 10 days for temporary service requests.
MEA will cover all costs of infrastructure replacement up to the member’s meter base and typical temporary service and reconnection fees will not be charged. Members who would like to relocate their service to a different location on their property will be subject to standard relocation charges. Members who are rebuilding and wish to reconnect their service under the restoration effort have until September 30, 2016 to notify MEA offices. All impacted members are urged to call MEA customer service representatives at 907.761.9300 as soon as possible to begin the work order process.
MEA has already completed necessary repairs to the primary distribution backbone. While over 70 power poles associated with two distribution circuits were within the fire perimeter, only 6 poles and associated wire required replacement. MEA credits recent tree clearing activities in the area over the past year for the relatively low loss of primary electrical infrastructure in this fire.