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Power restoration after a natural disaster is tough work

Thank you to Kentucky’s co-op lineworkers and employees

 

AS AN ELECTRICAL ENGINEER fresh out of college, my career began with working for electric cooperatives. There is a lot to learn about putting the theoretical knowledge to work in the real world. 

The first winter that I was a co-op engineer, a large winter storm came through and knocked out power for thousands of our consumer-members. I was doing all I could to make sure materials, equipment and resources were available to restore power, but the bulk of the work was done by the talented and well-trained lineworkers. 

The recent winter storms that crippled parts of our state remind me of that first widespread outage I endured. The ice coupled with frigid temperatures made it very difficult to restore power. The weight of ice accumulating on miles of aluminum power lines is hazardous and causes significant damage. When that same ice accumulation occurs on trees, it is a recipe for a winter disaster. At the height of three back-to-back ice and snow storms, more than 100,000 co-op members were without power. 

One thing that I hope each of you understand: our lineworkers, engineers, management and all co-op staff across the state take seriously the responsibility of providing reliable power to your homes and businesses. Events like the ice storm, and subsequent flooding, bring out the best in our employees. They work long hours with little rest to get your power restored. 

Every night the engineering and management teams review the latest information and make plans for how to restore energy as quickly and safely as possible the following day. They work around the clock and are committed to getting the materials and equipment needed to help lineworkers do their job of restoration. Team effort and coordination is planned and executed with co-op consumer-members in mind, to get electricity back on for the most members possible. 

I also want to thank those from across the country who came to our rescue. The electric cooperative network is special because we can request mutual aid from other states. Georgia, Alabama, Indiana, Virginia and Tennessee sent 425 skilled and dedicated line technicians to help restore your power. 

Last month was hard for many without power, but please understand our team was not going to give up until the last light was on. If you get a chance, please thank your cooperative lineworkers for all their hard work.

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