One of the 7 guiding principles of cooperatives is Cooperation among Cooperatives and is clearly exhibited when another cooperative needs help. Hurricane Florence has presented that situation and linemen from 19 Illinois cooperatives answered the call for help from North Carolina and Virginia. The Illinois crews left on Thursday morning to travel to a staging area to await instructions. Once conditions are safe to do so, they will be assisting with power restoration efforts. Wind speeds cannot exceed 35 mph in order for a lineman to work from an elevated bucket truck. The entire area is expecting widespread outages affecting thousands of members and restoration could take a week.
Cooperatives know that but for the grace of God, they could be in a similar situation. The most recent deployment of Illinois crews was in 2017 following Hurricane Irma.
For more information about the electric co-op response, visit NRECA.