BOISE -- United Water is enacting emergency response plans for customers impacted by Superstorm Sandy. The plans included establishing a national command center in Boise.
United Water, a unit of Suez Environnement that operates water utilities from North Carolina to New Hampshire, and American Water Works Co., the largest publicly traded U.S. water company, has more than 5.5 million customers, most of which live along the East Coast.
However, while Superstorm Sandy is threatening the East Coast, teams of local response personnel are working shifts to help compile information and troubleshoot any problems.
For example, teams are studying wind probability maps to determine which areas might be affected by Sandy's strong winds.
Wind causes trees to go down which knocks out power lines and power is very, very important for water production and water delivery, said Marshall Thompson, Assistant Manager of United Water Idaho. So if there isn't power, a lot of the pumps don't work, treatment plants don't have the systems that they have to and everything has to go on standby power.
The local response teams plan to be in place until at least Thursday. The company set up a similar operation in 2011 for Hurricane Irene.