/images/PowerCableUpdate.jpg/images/southwire_100x70.jpgThree Phases of Storm RecoveryThreePhasesOfStormRecovery.htmRebuilding storm-damaged industrial plants involves engineering and business decisions. Southwire can help.
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Three Phases of Storm Recovery


Rebuilding storm-damaged industrial plants involves engineering and business decisions. Southwire can help.

When industrial facilities suffer severe storm and flood damage, recovery of the electrical systems is a multiphase process. “The first job is to get temporary power to plant buildings – and often also to housing for crews working on repairs,” says New Orleans-based Southwire representative Tom Martin.

After power is available, teams can address short-term repair or replacement of top-priority wire and cable runs and also detailed assessment of damage. The assessment and planning period can take months because it includes business decisions about what to rebuild or even expand, and what may not economically justify rebuilding. In every phase of that process, Southwire can help with wire and cable products, and engineering problem-solving.

Temporary power starts with flexible cords

Southwire flexible cables delivered temporary power to many sites in the wake of Katrina. Southwire cables suitable for long-term temporary power in demanding outdoor applications deliver extra-flexible conductors sized up to AWG 4/0 and insulation ratings up to 2,000V.

Southwire’s Type W 2,000V and Type SC 600V cables provide multiconductor and single-conductor designs rated for continuous immersion in water. ResistAll™ 600 V SEOOW-rated flexible cords deliver up to five flexible copper conductors up to 2 AWG with TPE insulation rated for operation from -60°C to 105°C.

Immediate repairs may call for rapid delivery

Wire and cable may be damaged by exposure to salt water during hurricanes, or by inland flooding where there may be high concentrations of oils, fertilizers, or other strong chemicals. Immediate repair to water-damaged wiring could require anything from medium-voltage power distribution down to branch circuits feeding the plugs in offices. The important thing is rapid availability. Southwire delivers.

Wire and cable that is listed for dry locations only, such as NM-B, should be replaced if it has been exposed to floodwater. NM-B cable contains paper fillers that can pull contaminated water into the cable, which can cause premature cable failure.

Products listed for wet locations, such as THWN and XHHW, may be suitable for continued use if no contaminates are present in the cable, but all wire and cable that has been exposed to contaminated floodwater needs to be examined by a qualified person. Contamination-caused corrosion may take months to cause conductor failures.

To expedite replacement of water-soaked medium-voltage and 600V cables, planners may choose to replace wire and conduit installations with flexible armored (Type MC) cable. MC offers significant reductions in installation time – and labor costs – compared to hanging conduit and pulling wires.

Used for both distribution feeders and branch circuits, Type MC cables are suitable for aerial installations, direct burial, concrete-encased installations, cable trays, troughs and continuous rigid cable supports. Southwire offers rapid delivery on the industry’s widest selection of jacketed and non-jacketed type MC cables.

Assessment and planning may take months

Detailed assessment of flood damage to the electrical systems of industrial facilities can take months – and assessment leads to an even more complicated set of business decisions. Depending on facility age, damage, and market conditions, some facilities may be shut down entirely, while others may be expanded and upgraded as they are rebuilt.

“Southwire can assist the assessment and planning process with application engineering expertise and cost estimates for design options,” says Martin. “At every step of recovery, Southwire can help with the process.”