Missouri co-ops at work on hurricane repairs

Missouri co-ops at work on hurricane repairs

The 123 linemen from 23 of Missouri’s electric cooperatives, including some from Cuivre River Electric, have safely arrived in Florida and are at work restoring power to those affected by Hurricane Michael. The crews had to cut their way into the final approaches to Talquin Electric Cooperative, one of the Florida electric cooperatives that was near the center of the massive storm.

Just short of their goal after a long drive from a staging area in Athens, Alabama, the cooperative linemen pulled out their chain saws and cut for nearly three hours before the road could be cleared enough to reach Talquin Electric headquarters in Quincy, Florida.

After a thorough safety briefing, they were assigned “bird dogs,” employees of the local cooperative who will be their guides as they work in the storm-ravaged area. As the storm passed through the cooperative’s service area near Tallahassee, nearly all of the cooperative’s 55,000 members were without power. Talquin suffered severe damage to its distribution and transmission lines, complicating restoration efforts.

“Talquin crews have assessed damage throughout the service territory and crews are repairing lines and restoring power to as many Talquin Members as possible,” Talquin Electric reported on its Facebook page. “At the height of the outages, 98 percent of Talquin members were without power. Talquin’s infrastructure has sustained comprehensive damage — approximately 1,000 broken poles and numerous downed wires — throughout the entire service territory, that will lead to extended restoration times.”

Talquin also is working diligently with its transmission provider, Duke Energy, which sustained extensive damage to its transmission infrastructure that supplies multiple Talquin substations and is currently affecting 78 percent of the cooperative’s accounts.

Today the outage numbers have been reduced to 48,000 as the efforts of the Missouri crews and their Florida counterparts make a dent in the damage. The region has a lot of trees, which were tossed into lines by the strong storm. Photos from the scene show a tangle of wire, broken poles and trees that will have to be cleared before lines can be replaced.

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.

Here is a list of the cooperatives sending help:

  • Boone Electric Cooperative, Columbia
  • Cuivre River Electric Cooperative, Troy
  • Ralls County Electric Cooperative, New London
  • Three Rivers Electric Cooperative, Linn
  • Central Missouri Electric Cooperative, Sedalia
  • Pemiscot-Dunklin Electric Cooperative, Hayti
  • Laclede Electric Cooperative, Lebanon
  • Southwest Electric Cooperative, Bolivar
  • Ozark Electric Cooperative, Mount Vernon
  • Lewis County Rural Electric Cooperative, Lewistown
  • Consolidated Electric Cooperative, Mexico
  • Gascosage Electric Cooperative, Dixon
  • Grundy Electric Cooperative, Trenton
  • United Electric Cooperative, Maryville
  • Platte-Clay Electric Cooperative, Kearney
  • Macon Electric Cooperative, Macon
  • Barry Electric Cooperative, Cassville
  • Osage Valley Electric Cooperative, Butler
  • Webster Electric Cooperative, Marshfield
  • Co-Mo Electric Cooperative, Tipton
  • Black River Electric Cooperative, Fredericktown
  • Tri-County Electric Cooperative, Lancaster
  • West Central Electric Cooperative, Higginsville
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