Gov. Parson thanks linemen for power restoration effort
A dozen linemen from Three Rivers Electric Cooperative had some surprise visitors as they labored to restore power in the wake of the May 23 tornado. Gov. Mike Parson and his wife, Teresa, stopped by to encourage the linemen who were working just off Highway 54 south of Jefferson City.
“I am grateful for all the hard work of those helping rebuild and recover after the storms this week,” Gov. Parson said. “I was able to personally thank the Three Rivers Electric Cooperative workers for their speedy efforts. They have done great work in the past couple days getting the power back on for families.”
Parson, a member of Southwest Electric Cooperative, Bolivar, has always been a strong supporter of the electric cooperatives.
He wanted to see first-hand the effort that goes into restoring power after a major storm like this one,” said Caleb Jones, CEO of the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives. “The governor and first lady took the time to talk to every lineman and thank them. The governor and his staff said multiple times that they did not want to hold up progress. He drove out to where they were at and waited patiently until they were on a quick break before thanking them.”
The devastating tornado caused considerable damage to the Linn-based electric cooperative’s lines in Cole and Miller counties. From a high of more than 6,000 without power immediately after the storm struck, crews had whittled the outages down to just 1,200 on Friday morning, with 900 of those located in Cole County.
They were assisted by lineworkers from Macon Electric Cooperative and Crawford Electric Cooperative who were out of harm’s way, along with Central Electric Power Cooperative which supplies transmission lines for Three Rivers. Kiowa Line Builders, a contractor based in Tipton, also helped with the effort.
Those working the outage face long days working in hot, muggy conditions. They are finding power lines stretched out of shape and wrapped around broken tree limbs. Many poles were broken, including a stretch of 25 that were snapped in half where lines cross the Moreau River.