Aug. 28, 2020 – Crews from Alabama’s 22 rural electric cooperatives are heading to Louisiana beginning today to help restore power to areas hard hit by Hurricane Laura.
More than 100 men from 13 cooperatives and the Alabama Rural Electric Association will travel to areas served by Beauregard Electric Cooperative based in DeRidder, Louisiana, where 100 percent of the meters, or more than 40,000 members, are without power.
Cooperatives sending crews are Baldwin EMC, Clarke-Washington EMC, Covington Electric Cooperative, Cullman Electric Cooperative, Joe Wheeler EMC, Marshall DeKalb Electric Cooperative, Pea River Electric Cooperative, Pioneer Electric Cooperative, South Alabama Electric Cooperative, Southern Pine Electric Cooperative, Tallapoosa River Electric Cooperative, Tombigbee Electric Cooperative and Wiregrass Electric Cooperative.
The crews, which are bringing 35 bucket trucks, 24 service/pickup trucks and 17 digger derrick trucks with them, expect to spend several weeks on the ground, helping to restore power.
Helping fellow cooperatives is nothing new for Alabama’s co-ops, which have sent crews to several states in the aftermath of catastrophic weather events. “Alabama’s cooperatives have been on the receiving end of assistance, so we are always willing to help our sister co-ops when there is a need,” said Fred Braswell, president and CEO of the Alabama Rural Electric Association. “We’re grateful to be able to share resources, and to be a part of a large community of mutual aid.”
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.