Aerial patrols of transmission lines set for northern Michigan

Scheduled for Aug. 10-14

OSCEOLA COUNTY -- ITC will be conducting aerial patrols of the high-voltage transmission towers and lines in northern Michigan from Aug. 10-14, weather permitting.

The helicopter patrols are conducted to provide an overall status of the overhead transmission system that is operated by ITC's Michigan operating entities, ITCTransmission and Michigan Electric Transmission Company, LLC).

The aerial inspections will cover the northern part of the state, including all or parts of Alcona, Alpena, Antrim, Arenac, Bay, Benzie, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Clare, Crawford, Emmet, Gladwin, Grand Traverse, Iosco, Kalkaska, Lake, Leelanua, Manistee, Mason, Midland, Missaukee, Montmorency, Ogemaw, Osceola, Oscoda, Otsego, Presque Isle, Roscommon and Wexford counties.

These patrols are a North American Electrical Reliability Corporation requirement for ITC's vegetation management program, support proactive maintenance objectives, and are in line with the company's model for operational excellence.

They include inspections of steel towers, wood poles, conductors, 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, according to a press release from the company.

"There is no cause for alarm if a low-flying helicopter is sighted near transmission lines," ITC stated in a press release.

The flights will conclude in southeast Michigan on Sept. 11.

ITC Holdings Corp., the nation's largest independent electricity transmission company based in Novi, owns and operates two subsidiaries in the state: ITCTransmission and METC.

The two systems comprise approximately 8,700 circuit miles of transmission line serving most of Michigan's Lower Peninsula.