Electric co-ops sending crews to Florida for hurricane repairs
For the second time this fall, electric cooperatives in Missouri sent crews to help repair damage caused by Hurricane Michael. The crews left Missouri on Tuesday, October 9. Four MEC lineworkers answered the call: Scott Owen, Nick Stueve, Trevor Bax, and Ben Williams.
The MEC crew was tasked with assisting lineworkers at Talquin Electric Cooperative, a 53,000-member cooperative located near Tallahassee. At the beginning, more than ninety percent of Talquin’s members were without power. As MEC’s lineworkers returned home on Wednesday, October 24, that number was down to ten percent.
Missouri’s electric cooperatives sent 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 spearheaded by the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives. The Jefferson City-based association represents all 47 of Missouri’s electric cooperatives.