MEUW Weekly :: April 9, 2019

It’s Tornado and Severe Weather Awareness Week: Despite the snow and cold weather in the forecast this week, April 8 to 12 is Tornado and Severe Weather Awareness Week in Wisconsin, with two tornado drills planned for Thursday, April 11.

Wisconsin averages 23 tornadoes annually. The National Weather Service (NWS) confirmed 33 tornadoes in the state in 2018. This included 19 tornadoes on Aug. 28, the second largest August tornado outbreak in Wisconsin’s weather history. One of those tornadoes near Brownsville in Dodge County was rated EF2 with winds near 125 mph — the strongest of the year.

Thursday’s tornado drill will begin with a mock tornado watch that will be issued statewide by the NWS at 1 p.m. The NWS will follow with a statewide mock tornado warning at 1:45 p.m. The afternoon drill ends at 2 p.m. An evening drill is scheduled on the same day with a mock tornado warning to take place at 6:45 p.m. The timing enables families to practice severe weather safety plans at home. The drill ends at 7 p.m.

We’ve posted some tornado and severe weather reminders on — take a minute to review them to help keep you and your family safe.

Nomination period for MEUW Board of Directors now open:  MEUW is currently accepting nominations for interested individuals to serve on the association’s Board of Directors for a two-year term beginning May 17, 2019. This year’s election will be for Directors and Alternate Directors in odd-numbered districts. The Nomination Form and additional information is available here. The deadline to nominate someone is Friday, April 26.

Make plans to attend a Customer Service Roundtable near you: Seven Roundtable sessions are scheduled across the state in April and May to bring together member utilities to exchange ideas and information with their peers. The first one happens on Tuesday, April 23, in Cumberland. For a complete list of dates and locations, click here. Each session begins at 9:30 a.m. and concludes after lunch by about 1:30 p.m. The Roundtables are free and lunch is provided. Register today!

Executive Committee Meeting Notes:  The Executive Committee of MEUW’s Board of Directors held its regular meeting on April 3. The draft minutes can be accessed here.

Operations training seminars planned for the spring: Based on member feedback and in keeping with our commitment to safety, MEUW has organized two upcoming three-day workshops that will feature hands-on, in-the-field training to build our municipal lineworkers’ skills.  Here are the details: 

  • A workshop emphasizing 600 amp fundamentals and an introduction to a 24.9 KV system will be held April 29, 30 and May 1. Training will take place at Hartford Electric’s main office with some training assistance provided by Hartford line crew as they coordinate the hands-on field training.
  • An Excavation Safety Workshop is being held at Waupun Utilities from May 6 to 8. This seminar will introduce the novice excavator to the basics of safe operation, maintenance, and inspection of mini-excavators, skid steering units, trenchers, cable plows, and tractor backhoes. The training also will enrich the seasoned operators’ knowledge of these expensive investments, providing new ideas and sharing personal experiences with the tricks of the trade.

Additional details about both of the workshops can be found on MEUW’s Website. Look for the scrolling banner or click on the date from the “Events Calendar.” Specific questions can be directed to Randy Larson, Electric Utility Safety and Training Coordinator, at (715) 559-7542.

Upcoming Distribution Line Design Training open to MEUW members: Menasha Utilities is the site of a three-day seminar on Distribution Line Design to be held May 7 to 9. The session is being opened up for other municipal electric utilities to join.   

Power System Engineering (PSE) is conducting the seminar, which is targeted for utility staff responsible for designing and constructing distribution overhead line, underground line, and new services. The course has a mix of lectured material, group exercises, and participant discussion that revolves around real-life design situations. Additional information is available here

The per-person cost of the training will be determined based on the total interested. If you’d like to participate or would like to learn more, please contact Mike Mezera, Manager of Line Design with PSE, at (608) 268-3537 or

Electric Grid Security topic of April 30 training program:  The Wisconsin Public Utility Institute (WPUI) will hold a training forum to overview the current state of the security and resilience of the electric grid, discuss some innovative ideas, and identify some potential problems and solutions to ensuring a secure and resilient grid. The program is set for Tuesday, April 30, at the Pyle Center on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. MEUW is a member of WPUI. To register or learn more, click here. The “early bird” registration discount ends on April 18. 

The April edition of Live Lines was distributed last week. In case you missed it, you can find it online here.

If you’re planning to attend the Annual Conference, make note that the cut-off date to receive the MEUW group rate (plus tax) at Lake Lawn Resort is April 14. If rooms remain in the MEUW’s block after the cut-off date, the group rate will be honored. If not, you may be charged a higher rate. The room block may sell out before April 14, so early reservations are encouraged.