Oct. 3, 2022 – Alabama’s rural electric cooperatives will have more than 150 linemen working to help Lee County Electric in Fort Myers, Florida, once all crews have arrived.
Five Alabama co-ops sent crews last week to Peace River Electric Cooperative (PRECO) to help with power restoration in the wake of Hurricane Ian. PRECO, based in Wauchula, Florida, reported 85% of its 55,000 meters were without power after Ian passed over its service territory.
Outages were trimmed to less than 4,700 early Monday, Oct. 3, despite unprecedented flooding in their territory. PRECO expects service will be restored to all members who can accept power in the next several days.
Meanwhile, Lee County Electric lost power to 99% of its 219,000 meters as Ian pushed ashore, and the utility has asked for 1,000 linemen to help. As of Monday, Oct. 3, 13 Alabama utilities are sending crews to Lee County Electric.
Baldwin EMC, Black Warrior EMC, Central Alabama EC, Cherokee EC, City of Troy, Clarke-Washington EMC, Covington EC, Joe Wheeler EMC, Pea River EC, Sand Mountain EC, South Alabama EC, Southern Pine EC and Tombigbee EC have a total of 116 linemen headed to Lee, who will join the 34 who will be released from PRECO.
Alabama’s cooperatives are always willing to help other utilities, as they have been on the receiving end of mutual aid after many devastating storms.
Alabama’s 22 rural electric cooperatives deliver power to more than 1 million people, or a quarter of the state’s population, and they maintain more than 71,000 miles of power line.