Balfour Pole Co. stays busy after ice storm - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Balfour Pole Co. stays busy after ice storm

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By Christian Jennings - bio | email

February 9, 2009

MITCHELL COUNTY, GA (WALB) - Those devastating ice storms in the midwest have workers at Balfour Pole Company in Mitchell County working overtime.

Thousands of people are still without power in Kentucky from last month's deadly snow and ice storm.

Utility crews and power companies are working around the clock to restore power. And restoring power requires thousands of new utility poles.

That's where Balfour Pole Company comes in, and they've been busy.

"There's a lot of people without power because of utility lines being down, and everybody in our industry is working around the clock. We ship poles trying to get wood out to the affected areas," says Mike Jones, Vice President of Balfour Pole Company.

The storm first hit Kentucky and other parts of the midwest January 27th creating more than 700,000 power outages and 30 deaths.

Meanwhile, in Mitchell county workers and saws stay busy.

"Prior to that business was really slow because of the economy," he says.

Which means the company isn't rushing to strip more trees. A slump in the housing market keeps their supply stocked.

"Part of our business is definitely effected by growth with subdivisions. When houses are being built we're putting up new telephone lines or the utilities are. And that part of the business has been real bad," says Jones.

Balfour Pole Company is all too familiar with stepping up their game when natural disaster strikes.

Business picked up during Hurricane Katrina and more recently during hurricane Gustav and Ike as well.

"This particular ice storm is the worst I've ever seen. I would equate it to one of the major hurricanes," says Jones.

Power companies say they've got the number of power outages down to less than 35,000 across the state of Kentucky.

And Balfour Pole Company will continue to do their part, helping restore power in homes hundreds of miles away. Feedback