Electric co-ops sending crews to Florida for hurricane repairs
For the second time this fall, electric cooperatives in Missouri are sending crews to help repair damage expected to be caused by Hurricane Michael. The crews will leave Missouri on Wednesday and stage in Alabama ahead of the storm.
Once it is safe to travel, they will drive to Quincy, Florida where they will assist crews at Talquin Electric Cooperative, a 53,000-member cooperative located near Tallahassee.
“Plans are in place, and Talquin is prepared to receive 500 additional personnel who have offered to assist with power restoration,” said Tracy Bensley, general manager of Talquin Electric Cooperative.
Co-ops in the path of Michael held the first of several planning and status teleconferences to discuss preparations and readiness Monday afternoon. They reached out to Missouri because the storm could reach well into surrounding states, making assistance from those states unavailable as their crews work their own local outages.
Missouri’s electric cooperatives will send 123 linemen from 23 of the state’s cooperatives to lend a hand. In September Missouri crews traveled to South Carolina to help out with repairs in the wake of Hurricane Florence.
Missouri’s electric cooperatives have a long history of lending a helping hand to its cooperative peers in trying times. Missouri crews first helped with hurricane relief efforts in 2004 when the Gulf Coast was hit by Hurricane Ivan and have been doing so since. In 2017 crews traveled to Florida and Georgia following Hurricane Irma.
The favor has been returned, as Missouri co-ops received assistance restoring power following ice storms in 2007 and 2009.
Missouri’s assistance efforts are being spearheaded by the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives. The Jefferson City-based association represents all 47 of Missouri’s electric cooperatives.
Macon Electric Cooperative is sending four lineworkers to assist in the restoration efforts.