Cleco restoration that includes oil-coated poles, wires and roads. 


 Cleco restoration that includes oil-coated poles, wires and roads.  
“While our weather experts do not think the oil in the Gulf of Mexico will affect the development of a hurricane, the possible storm surge resulting from a hurricane could bring oil on land and may impact our restoration efforts, said, Anthony Bunting, vice president of customer service and energy delivery. “We are working with the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality and other state officials and utilities to determine how our restoration efforts could change.”
Cleco is researching the possible need for special clothing for line mechanics who may be called to work on oil-covered equipment and how to clean vehicle tires that may need to travel roads soaked with oily water. The company also is working through a possible scenario where an area could be sectioned off for cleaning before restoration efforts could begin. In addition, the company is firming up details with vendors that provide food, supplies and lodging so that restoration efforts can continue as smoothly as possible.“We are planning around an unknown; however, our storm teams are made up of employees who are storm veterans. I am confident we will work through the challenges we encounter,” said Bunting.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA), movement of the oil would depend on the hurricane’s track. Storm surges can carry oil onto the coastline and inland as far as the surge reaches. The hurricane’s position relative to the oil slick would affect movement in the water. Generally speaking, because hurricane winds rotate counter clockwise, a hurricane passing to the west of the oil slick could drive oil to the coast. A hurricane passing to the east of the slick could drive the oil away from the coast.  
In the event a storm does impact Cleco’s service territory, the company has an Internet storm center. This web source offers basic hurricane information, 2010 season predictions and storm preparation and safety information.  It also contains an outage map that zooms to the street level to give estimated restoration times. “This year’s predictions call for a busy hurricane season,” said Bunting. “At Cleco, we know it only takes one storm to make it a bad year.  Planning helps to leverage the best possible outcome.”