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Emergency power restoration after flooding

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Job Description: Emergency rebuild of transmission structures
Duration: 8 days

Michels is a utility and infrastructure contractor based in Brownsville, Wisconsin with 40 offices from coast to coast and 14,000 pieces of heavy equipment.


Sterling received an emergency response call from Michels: they needed immediate construction access after heavily saturated soil conditions caused five of MidAmerican Energy’s H-Frame transmission structures to topple over and fail. The transmission line was located at the eastern extent of MidAmerican’s service territory near East Moline, Illinois.


Due to extremely heavy rainfall, a creek overflowed its banks and an adjacent flood control levee flooded agricultural fields that were already saturated because the water could not escape. Standing water between six inches to three feet added a layer of difficulty to establishing access to the damaged structures. There was an urgent need to restore a reliable network as soon as possible for MidAmerican’s large customer base.


Sterling crews worked directly with crews from Michels and MidAmerican to create a plan that would adequately and safely support the equipment needed to repair the site and restore power.

To raise the work area above the standing water line, Sterling used a combination of traditional timber mats as a base and decked it with Sterling’s exclusive, wider TerraLam 508 mats to keep large, heavy equipment up and out of the water. A total of 2,755 mats were used including 1,446 TerraLam 508 mats. The Sterling team installed a stacked runner system capped with our laminate mats for approximately 7000 linear feet and installed six 100’ x 100’ work pads to secure the repair area.

Installation was quick, and within two weeks the circuit began transmitting power again. What’s more, Michel realized significant freight savings by using a combination of timber mats and lightweight TerraLam 508s in lieu of traditional timber mats for the entire project

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