Utilities Hire ‘Drone Army’ To Help With Florence Recovery

By Tyler Durden

Drones

Wary of making the same mistakes that left large swaths of Puerto Rico without electricity for months in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria (as utilities struggled to gain access to hard-to-reach locales due to the storm’s damage to the roads), local utilities covering parts of the southeastern coastline have enlisted armies of drone-pilot mercenaries to identify, document and even repair some of the damage caused by Hurricane (now Tropical Storm) Florence.

As Bloomberg reports, a veritable “drone army” involving at least 53 drone teams has been recruited to help with damage assessment. And while those numbers might pale in comparison to the 40,000 utility workers (not to mention the military personnel) who have been deployed in anticipation of the storm response, drones offer a crucial alternative when repairs must be made in difficult-to-reach areas.

Drones have proven useful before. Last year, IBM worked with one local utility to use drones to make needed repairs to damaged utility substations during the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

Take Hurricane Harvey last year: When it flooded Houston, CenterPoint Energy Inc. used drones to assess a substation, determined it was seriously damaged and then quickly built a back-up in a church parking lot, said Chris Behme, an …read more

Source:: Zero Hedge

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