Comprehensive inspections of wooden utility poles used by investor-owned
electric utilities and telephone companies will be conducted every 8 years, the
Florida Public Service Commission ordered Tuesday.
By a four-to-one vote, the five-member Commission said initiating the
inspection programs is one of a number of steps aimed at making the state’s
utilities less susceptible to damage from hurricanes and tropical storms.
“This is one of a number of initiatives we’ll be taking to reduce our
vulnerability to long-term outages,” Commission Chairman Lisa Polak Edgar
said. “Our ratepayers and our utilities have taken a beating over the last two
years and we have to move forward with solutions.”
The 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons set records not only for the number
of storms to hit the state, but for the damage caused to critical
infrastructure, resulting in lengthy outages of electric and telephone service.
Under the plan adopted by the Commission Tuesday, companies will be
responsible for conducting specific tests to wooden poles on a cycle that
insures each pole is tested at least once every 8 years.