Delmarva Power briefing: Busy hurricane season possible

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Businesses and residents should prepare for a busy hurricane season.

That was the message from National Weather Service forecaster Joe Miketta at a briefing held last week by Delmarva Power at its operations center in Christiana.

While staying out of the climate change debate, Miketta said the region will remain in an active period for hurricanes for another decade and 2013 will be no exception, thanks to warm ocean waters and other factors.

Miketta spent much of the presentation discussing Hurricane Sandy and its impact on the region. He praised the response of the State of Delaware in dealing with Sandy, noting that the state suffered no deaths from the storm.

Delaware missed the worst of the storm, said Miketta, who works out of the Mount Holly, N.J., office of the National Weather Service.

In describing the damage inflicted by Sandy in various locations Miketta said, “this could have been Dewey Beach.”

The Weather Service representative said the social media is playing a bigger role in informing the public about the weather.

He noted that the weather service’s Facebook page is a good way to stay informed.

The National Weather Service also keeps tabs on power outage reports from utilities, such as Delmarva Power in assessing the impact of storms.

Another powerful tool comes from high-technology radar systems at the Baltimore and Philadelphia airports. Delmarva officials held the event last week in an effort to build and maintain ties with the media and various agencies that deal with storms.

The utility will continue to allow reporters to be embedded in its operations center when storms, like Sandy, move into the area.

That will not happen at the Delaware Emergency Management Agency’s center in southern New Castle County, due to a lack of space.

One word of caution went out to news crews and residents from Delmarva regarding live power power lines. Crews should not assume that the area is safe because crews are working in the area. Perhaps for that reason and others, demonstrations were held on the ability of high voltage lines to quickly cook a hot dog. The same voltage can also do the same to internal organs, a Delmarva lineman noted.

Delmarva crews always assume a line is live, a precaution made even more important by portable electric generators that if improperly installed can feed electricity back into power lines.

Media representatives were also shown the center where the Delmarva Power system is monitored around the clock.

 

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