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Huntsville Utilities can't prevent power outages ahead of thunderstorms, only react to them

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Ahead of the rain we're expecting to see this week, WAAY31 spoke with Huntsville Utilities to see how they prepare for thunderstorms.

As far as storm preparations, Huntsville Utilities says it's more of a reactive response rather than a proactive one.

"A thing like a thunderstorm is something we keep our eye on, but there's nothing we do ahead of the storm. We just watch it and be ready if something happens," explains Joe Gehrdes, Community Relations Director for Huntsville Utilities.

Gehrdes says besides regular maintenance, there's not much they can do to prepare for a thunderstorm.

"Everyday routine maintenance and operations is trying to catch those problems before they happen. Storms we just have to wait and see what happens," says Gehrdes.

He says they can predict where power outages may happen, adding, "well usually you can follow the storm path and follow the outages."

But they can't prevent those outages from occurring.

"Sometimes bad weather can cause vehicle accidents where folks run into utility equipment and we have to repair those, and so every event is unique and we just have to stand back and watch it and be ready to respond should something happen," says Gehrdes.

He says he isn't concerned for the rainy weather we're expected to see this week, but his team is prepared to respond to anything since summertime thunderstorms have caused unexpected damage in the past.

He says if you see any fallen trees or power lines, call Huntsville Utilities. Don't try to move them yourself because you could be seriously injured if there is still power running through those utilities.

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