According to Turlock Irrigation District spokesman Herb Smart, the outage was caused by a down power line at Olive Avenue and Highway 33. Smart acknowledged that all customers in that region saw their power restored by 3 p.m., though more than half of the customers had their power back in less than 20 minutes from the incident.
TID would also like to remind the public of the severity of downed power lines.
“Downed power lines are dangerous and TID reminds people to never touch fallen power lines or try to rescue someone in contact with a power line,” said Smart. “People should assume downed lines are always energized, and stay far away from them. Those who spot a downed power line should call 911 to report it, or call TID’s 24-hour service line at 883-8301.”
Since power outages remain the most common complaint call that the Turlock Irrigation District receives in a year, their staff has utilized a new moderated system as of January 2013 for preemptive measure.
In an effort to better communicate with its customers, TID launched a new outage information website which has received positive comments since its activation.
“Having outage information online for customers was something that had been discussed at the District for some time. We always thought it was a good idea; we just had to figure out the best way to go about accomplishing the task. The District is happy to be able to provide this service to customers going forward,” said Smart.
In order to align themselves with industry leaders, TID now offers instantaneous online information for its customers, permitting a communicative source without taking time away from the workers' progress.
When a power outage occurs, power control center operators are expected to complete a form through TID’s database. Once completed, the power outages page is updated for staff review in an automated, easy to read format.
“In the age of smart phones and mobile web access, we think the outages page will be a great help to customers experiencing outages who want to know when their power is expected to be restored and what may have caused an outage,” said Smart.
The outage website — found at http://tid.org/power/outages — will also provide basic answers to frequently asked questions and offer tips and suggestions to help the customer receive power. TID will also continue using its phone service as well to ensure that customers receive the best support.
“It’s important to note we are still happy to inform customers of outage information via phone, and the only way to report power outages to us is by calling 883-8301. Using our website to communicate outage information is meant to supplement traditional phone communication with customers in the event of an outage, not to replace it,” said Smart.
The project increases operational efficiencies, which ultimately benefits customer. All information is updated, accurate, and mobile friendly that can be reached anytime of the day. In the future, TID expects to include text message alerts, e-mail reporting, and a reverse call-out system to bridge a better response to its customers.
• Contact Brooke Borba at 892-6187, ext. 24, or firstname.lastname@example.org.