ITC conducting fall aerial patrols of transmission lines through Oct. 5

Submitted to The Chief

CEDAR RAPIDS – ITC will be conducting semi-annual aerial patrols of high-voltage transmission structures and lines throughout its service territory from approximately Sept. 24 through Oct. 5, weather permitting. Helicopter patrols provide an overall status of the overhead transmission system owned and operated by ITC’s Iowa-based operating entity, ITC Midwest LLC.

The aerial inspections will cover the company’s lines in central and southern Iowa, as well as limited areas in northern Missouri and western Illinois. The flights will be conducted in the Ames, Ankeny, Boone, Burlington, Dysart, Fort Madison, Gladbrook, Iowa Falls, Keokuk, Marshalltown, Newton, Osceola, Ottumwa and Perry, Iowa areas, as well as around Wayland, Missouri.

Counties in the aerial patrol areas include Adair, Appanoose, Benton, Boone, Cass, Dallas, Davis, Des Moines, Franklin, Greene, Grundy, Guthrie, Hardin, Henry, Iowa, Jasper, Jefferson, Lee, Lucas, Mahaska, Marshall, Monroe, Polk, Poweshiek, Tama, Story and Wapello in Iowa as well as Clark County in Missouri and Hancock County in Illinois.

These patrols are a North American Electrical Reliability Corporation (NERC) requirement for ITC’s vegetation management program, support proactive maintenance objectives and align with the company’s model for operational excellence. They include inspections of steel structures, wood poles, conductors (wires), insulators and other equipment. Crews check for damaged or worn equipment and vegetation hazards.

The inspection flights are often conducted at low altitudes to allow accurate visual inspection of equipment for lightning damage, wear or other potential problems. This is normal procedure, so there is no cause for alarm if a low-flying helicopter is sighted near transmission lines during the time frame listed above.