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Hilly city in Henan gets expert grid protection

By ZHUANG QIANGE and PANG BO | China Daily | Updated: 2024-07-10 10:07

In the mountainous Linzhou under the prefecture-level city of Anyang in Henan province, unlike in recent years, this year's rains have seemed to fall more fiercely.

On July 1, shortly after the wet season began, rainwater on Hongqi Canal Ave had already reached ankle-depth, leaving the elderly gathered at a senior activity center — No 7 Courtyard among China State Construction employee buildings — increasingly concerned.

If a potential power outage resulted due to the downpours, their journey home without the benefit of operating elevators would be as challenging as a mountain ascent.

Amid the torrential rains, staffers of State Grid Linzhou Power Supply Co were working to prevent potential power outages in their various areas and jurisdictions of responsibility.

As most streets in Linzhou were rapidly becoming submarine thoroughfares, Hu Zhifang and one of his colleagues began to wade slowly along a 10-kilovolt power distribution line, as he considers that these lines are like veins of a city and need special care to maintain.

Hu, 42, inspected distribution boxes and pole foundations amid the rains, checking the waterproofing facilities at each stop, and looking for potential hazards in pole foundations.

"Rainy day inspections might reveal some safety hazards we usually overlook," he said.

At the entrance to the underground power distribution room at No 7 Courtyard, Hu and his colleague stood for a long time, leaving only after confirming that waterproofing measures were adequate.

Meanwhile, on a winding mountain road, transmission line team leader Cui Bingbin and his members were trudging through thick mud, binoculars at hand, inspecting transmission lines in the rugged hills.

After ascending steep slopes and fording streams, they cleared fallen branches obstructing the lines and checked for foundational and other structural flaws amid the downpour.

"Usually, this line is patrolled in its entirety once a month, but it needs special protection during wind and rain," Cui said.

At the same time, Caojia Village Substation, which is located at the northeast corner of the intersection of Taixing Rd and Luban Ave, was facing particularly tough flood prevention efforts due to its low-lying location.

"Earlier, we had prepared flood prevention sandbags here in May, putting drainage pumps in place, and now we are inspecting the drainage ditches daily to prevent blockages," said Li Guanqi, station master.

As the rains poured down incessantly, Li led his team to recheck the substation's drainage and cable ditches, avoiding any blockage or water accumulation.

"As safety is paramount, we cannot overlook any detail," he added.

Prior to the large-scale rural grid transformation in the city, Linzhou's power grid had poor resistance to natural elements, and the power workers' only weapon was vigilance and diligence, which has become their tradition in maintaining power safety for the city's residents.

"We feel uneasy if we don't recheck and ensure the equipment is fine during windy or rainy weather. Although the grid's ability to withstand natural disasters is improving, we still retain our tradition here," Li said.

The power lines and substations in Linzhou continue to withstand heavy rains, without any power outages.

Wang Kefeng and Jia Xiaopeng contributed to this story.

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