Special to the Times Vedette

ITC Midwest will be conducting aerial patrols of high-voltage transmission structures and lines throughout its service territory from approximately May 13-24, weather permitting.

Helicopter patrols provide an overall status of the overhead transmission system owned and operated by ITC Midwest.

The flights take place across the following areas of the ITC Midwest service territory:

South zone

The flights will be conducted in the Beacon, Burlington, Chariton, Clinton, DeWitt, Eddyville, Fort Madison, Iowa City, Keokuk, North Liberty and Ottumwa areas in Iowa. In addition, the aerial patrols will take place around the communities of Wayland, Missouri, and Savanna and Galena, Illinois.

Iowa counties in the aerial patrol areas include Appanoose, Cedar, Clinton, Davis, Des Moines, Jasper, Jefferson, Johnson, Jones, Henry, Lee, Lucas, Mahaska, Monroe, Poweshiek and Wapello. The flights will also be conducted in Carroll, Jo Davies and Whiteside counties in Illinois, and Clark County, Missouri.

Central zone

The flights will be conducted in the Ames, Ankeny, Boone, Cedar Rapids, Dysart, Gladbrook, Iowa Falls, Marengo, Marion, Marshalltown, Newton, Palo, Perry, Vinton and Williamsburg areas. Iowa counties in the aerial patrol areas include Adair, Benton, Boone, Cass, Dallas, Franklin, Greene, Grundy, Guthrie, Hardin, Iowa, Jasper, Linn, Marshall, Polk, Story and Tama.

North zone

The flights will be conducted in the Asbury, Dubuque, Independence, Key West, Lansing and Mason City areas in Iowa. In addition, aerial patrols will be flown around the Minnesota communities of Adams, Fairmont, Glenville, Harmony, Hayward, Luverne, Sherburn and Winnebago, and Lancaster, Wisconsin. Iowa counties in the aerial patrol areas include Allamakee, Black Hawk, Bremer, Buchanan, Cerro Gordo, Chickasaw, Clayton, Delaware, Dickinson, Dubuque, Fayette, Franklin, Hancock, Howard, Jackson, Kossuth, Mitchell, Osceola, Winnebago and Worth. In addition, aerial patrols will be flown in Faribault, Fillmore, Freeborn, Jackson, Martin, Mower, Nobles and Rock counties in Minnesota, and Grant County in Wisconsin.

These patrols are a North American Electrical Reliability Corporation (NERC) requirement for ITC Midwest’s vegetation management program, support proactive maintenance objectives, and align with the company’s model for operational excellence. The flights will include the inspection of vegetation in the vicinity of transmission structures, wood poles, conductors (wires), insulators and other equipment.

The inspection flights are often conducted at low altitudes to facilitate accurate visual inspection of vegetation hazards. 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.