Supply shortages could mean delays in restoring power after storms

Florida’s Director of Emergency Management is warning that new supply chain issues could lead to delays in restoring power after a major storm. The warning comes as the coast prepares for the peak of an upper average Hurricane season.

The essential building blocks to restore power, including transformers, are in short supply. Transformers usually take three to six months to import, but the delivery date is two to six years from now due to supply chain issues.

“Transformers are a critical component for power restoration and power supply. Some manufacturers won’t even take new orders for transformers because they already have a backlog of orders,” said Amy Zubaly, CEO of Florida Municipal Electrical Association.

FMEA represents Florida’s 33 public power communities. Utilities across the state have publicly shared their concerns about transformer shortages.

SUPPLY CHAIN ​​PROBLEMS GET WORSE, REPORT SAYS, INFLATION RISES: HOW YOUR WALLET COULD BE SHOCKED

Power poles were damaged after a storm

An electrical substation stands in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida on September 4, 2021 in Grand Isle, Louisiana. Ida made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane six days earlier in Louisiana and caused flooding, wind damage and power outages across the Gulf C

“As we prepare for hurricane season, we build up a supply and stock of our electrical-grade components that we need to hurricane restoration. That is separate from our normal operating supplies of materials. That supply in both hands may not be to the extent that it normally is,” Zubaly said.

FMEA is hopeful that power companies can handle a mild hurricane season, but warns that restoring power can be challenging if the region is hit by multiple storms.

HURRICANE LAURA LEAVE NEARLY 700K WITHOUT POWER, OFFICIALS WARN RECOVERY COULD TAKE WEEKS

“It was predicted that we would have an above-average number of storms. We’re just now entering the peak of hurricane season. So most of the storms don’t come until August, September, October, and it’s early August, so the next three months are going to be really eye-opening. If we get repeatedly hit by large-scale storms, we may be in a situation where we have to find alternative means of supply.”

Power companies warn that the threat extends well beyond hurricane season. This could affect emergency management response to severe weather in general, including forest fires and floods.

Crews working to restore power to damaged lines

A utility crew works to restore power in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida on September 2, 2021 in Albany, Louisiana. (Sean Raymond/Getty Images)

“It’s a problem for those who are dealing with wildfires right now. Flooding, if there have been concerns that components have been damaged and need to be replaced. You know, it’s across the board and across the sector, across the the country they are trying to solve these problems,” Zubaly said.

Senator Marco Rubio presented a bill to encourage the production of transformers on US soil. The bill includes an $8 billion loan guarantee to national businesses to rebuild or increase the supply of materials from the power grid to help ease the supply chain concerns. However, FMEA warns that it will take time to resolve the issue.

a power transformer

Emergency management officials are raising concerns about transformer shortages. (FoxNews)

HURRICANE MICHAEL SETS A RECORD AS THE MOST POWERFUL HURRICANE TO MAKE LANDFALL IN OCTOBER

In Lynn Haven, Florida, total devastation from a hurricane is in recent memory. After hurricane michael hit the region in 2018, power was restored within weeks. However, energy companies are now struggling with unprecedented supply chain problems.

Hurricane Michael devastated Lynn Haven, Panama City and Mexico Beach

Drone video captures the destruction left by Hurricane Michael in 2018. (FoxNews)

“It was literally the worst day of their lives. October 10, 2018 is a day we will never forget. Just as 911 marked the history of the United States in the 21st century, October 10 marked history right here in Northwest Florida,” said Mayor Jesse Nelson. . “As you can see behind us, our city is still rebuilding the city hall, our police station, our emergency operations center. So, for four years, our police station has operated with trailers. Our city hall is operating with trailers. So since we’re still dealing with storms, we don’t have the facilities we need to keep our employees protected.”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Mayor Nelson told Fox News that the transformer shortage is concerning. Many power companies are repairing or refurbishing used transformers as a way to increase inventory levels.

Leave a Comment