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Electric co-op work crews take on next hurricane

Electric co-op work crews take on next hurricane

October 11th, 2018 by Jeff Haldiman in Local News

An employee of Southern Electric Corporation from Flowood, Miss., climbs out of the cab of his truck after arriving at the Sarasota Fairgrounds Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018. Florida Power & Light is staging their power restoration contractors in Sarasota, Fla., in advance of Hurricane Michael's expected landfall in the Florida panhandle later this week. (Mike Lang/Sarasota Herald-Tribune via AP)

Just a few weeks ago, work crews from several electric co-ops in Missouri went to South Carolina to help restore power to those affected by Hurricane Florence.

Now, more crews from the Show-Me State are preparing to help those affected by Hurricane Michael.

Crews left Wednesday for Alabama, where they will stage awaiting their assignments once the hurricane has passed through.

When 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.

Talquin officials said 500 additional personnel from across the country have offered to assist them with power restoration. This includes 123 linemen from 23 of the Missouri's cooperatives.

Among the Mid-Missouri co-ops sending lineman are Three Rivers Electric, Boone Electric and Co-Mo Electric.

Co-ops in the path of Hurricane 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 crews first helped with hurricane relief efforts in 2004, when Hurricane Ivan hit the Gulf Coast. Crews traveled in 2017 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.

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