Co-ops identify available crews as statewide association coordinates response
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (August 30, 2019) – As forecasters predict that Hurricane Dorian will strengthen to a major hurricane as it approaches the east coast of Florida and southern Georgia, Kentucky’s electric cooperatives are preparing to assist in recovery efforts if called upon by sister co-ops in the path of the hurricane.
The mutual aid response is coordinated by Kentucky Electric Cooperatives. The statewide association of Kentucky’s 26 electric co-ops participates in daily conference calls with similar co-op organizations in southeastern states to assess potential needs and pair recipient co-ops with available crews and equipment from Kentucky.
In addition, Kentucky co-ops have also released dozens of construction and right-of-way contract crews to respond to Hurricane Dorian.
Recent mutual aid deployments by Kentucky’s electric cooperatives include:
October 2018 – More than 100 Kentucky lineworkers help Hurricane Michael recovery efforts in Georgia and Virginia.
March 2018 – 81 Kentucky lineworkers helped restore power in Virginia after Winter Storm Riley.
September 2017 – 131 Kentucky co-op workers helped restore power in Georgia after Hurricane Irma.
October 2016 – The largest mutual aid deployment in Kentucky co-op history came in 2016 when 143 lineworkers responded to Hurricane Matthew.
The top priority of each local Kentucky co-op is service to its own consumer-members. Before committing resources to mutual aid requests, each co-op ensures it has ample crews available for all local needs, including routine maintenance and emergencies.
“Cooperation among cooperatives is one of our guiding principles,” said Clarence Greene, Safety and Loss Prevention Director at Kentucky Electric Cooperatives. “It’s long hours in challenging conditions, but lineworkers are wired to help people, and mutual aid deployments also provide invaluable training opportunities so these crews will be better prepared to respond to storm damage when it happens here at home.”
In addition, Louisville-based United Utility Supply Cooperative is readying supplies and has implemented its storm emergency plan, providing round-the-clock support to meet the material needs of co-ops affected by Hurricane Dorian. Today, UUS continues to make pre-storm deliveries to cooperatives in the region and is prepared to meet their needs once storm assessments are complete. UUS has also reached out to other cooperatively owned material suppliers with assurance it stands ready to assist, if needed.
Because the national network of transmission and distribution infrastructure owned by electric cooperatives has been built to federal standards, line crews from any co-op in America can arrive on the scene ready to provide emergency support, secure in their knowledge of the system’s engineering.