Basin Electric SRS services reached all the way to Texas during February winter weather event

man sitting at computer with woman looking over shoulder
From Feb. 10-18, Basin Electric's Security & Response Services received a total of 21,598 calls, 7,667 from Bartlett Electric members alone. Pictured from left: Jolene Johnson, SRS dispatch supervisor, and Seth Neer, service dispatcher.

When Bartlett Electric Cooperative in Bartlett, Texas, signed up for dispatch services from Basin Electric Security & Response Services (SRS) last February, chances are it didn’t expect to use its services for a massive winter storm. But one year later in February 2021, a historic winter storm that reached from North Dakota to Texas, leaving ice on the co-op’s power lines, large amounts of snow, and near zero degree temperatures.

“We’ve used previous call center’s services to assist during high call volume storm events, but this type of weather is very unusual this far south in Texas,” says Bryan Lightfoot, manager of Bartlett Electric.

During the February event, thousands of people lost power, but Texas was hit especially hard. Lightfoot says Bartlett Electric’s power system experienced outages ranging from hours to days.  “It would be hard for me to quantify the number of outages on the distribution system, however, almost all members experienced outages, and the event lasted about five days.”

During that time, SRS answered the co-op’s many customer calls and sent out auto dialers to Bartlett Electric members to keep them informed of the situation, both services it provides to any co-op using SRS’s services.

Given the magnitude and range of this weather event, SRS was flooded with calls. From Feb. 10-18 they received a total of 21,598 calls (7,667 from Bartlett Electric members alone), but Jolene Johnson, Basin Electric’s SRS dispatch supervisor, says her staff handled it very well. “This is what we prepare for,” she says. “We conduct regular mayday drills and staff preparedness training, so to us, this huge event was kind of just status quo. Situations like this are what we are here for.”

The spring issue of Basin Today is dedicated to the February winter weather event: Basin Today Spring 2021.

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