A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Kentucky Electric Cooperatives send more help to restore power in wake of Hurricane Michael

In the days since Hurricane Michael cut its destructive path across several lower southeast states, the Kentucky Association of Electric Cooperatives has deployed additional lineworkers to aid in power restoration.

As of Monday morning, over 100 workers, from 16 Kentucky cooperatives are on the ground in Georgia and Virginia, as hundreds of thousands of customers in the southeast are still without power.

Kentucky electric cooperatives from across the state have offered their help and support. On Thursday, 11 Kentucky co-ops sent crews to assist in relief efforts. Since then, five other co-ops have joined the power restoration efforts. Blue Grass Energy, Clark Energy Cooperative, Farmers RECC, Fleming Mason Energy, Gibson Energy Cooperative, Inter-County Energy, Jackson Energy Cooperative, Jackson Purchase Energy, Kenergy Corp., Licking Valley RECC, Owen Electric Cooperative, Pennyrile Electric, Salt River Electric, South Kentucky RECC, Warren RECC and West Kentucky RECC sent crews to aid in relief efforts.

UUS sending a truckload of transformers to crews helping with Hurricane Michael relief. (Photo provided)

Due to a large number of residents without power, crews are expected to remain for several weeks.

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.

“We are dedicated to helping our fellow cooperatives across the country. We recognize that when storms like this hit, it takes all hands on deck to help restore electricity,” said Clarence Greene, KAEC Safety and Loss Prevention Director. “These deployments are long hours in challenging conditions, but lineworkers are committed to helping people. Mutual aid deployments also provide invaluable training opportunities they may not get in their respective area.”

Kentucky-based United Utility Supply Cooperative (UUS) is also supporting the efforts by shipping critical utility supplies to cooperatives in Alabama and the Florida panhandle to ensure linemen have the tools they need to efficiently restore power. UUS is headquartered in Louisville with warehouse presences in several states including Alabama.

Because the national network of transmission and distribution infrastructure owned by electric cooperatives is 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.

From Kentucky Association of Electric Cooperatives

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