Extending a Helping Hand

Posted: October 1, 2021 at 9:30 am

Oklahoma’s electric cooperatives are proud to practice the Cooperative Principle of “Cooperation Among Cooperatives.” Being a good neighbor to those in need is built directly into the cooperative business model.

Oklahoma is no stranger to ravaging storms, and our state has benefitted greatly from the generosity of the co-op family who have assisted our impacted families and businesses. Recently, co-ops in Louisiana experienced extensive damage to homes and businesses following Hurricane Ida. The hurricane deposited torrential rains over a two and a half day span, becoming the second-most damaging and intense hurricane to strike the state of Louisiana. The storm landed on Sunday, August 29, near Port Fourchon, Louisiana as a Category 4 storm with maximum sustained winds of 150 miles per hour, a few miles shy from 157 m.p.h., common in a Category 5 storm.

According to situation reports from the U.S. Department of Energy, the hurricane resulted in power outages for up to 1.2 million electricity customers across eight states. Power may not be restored to certain southeastern Louisiana parishes until near the end of September. Oklahoma’s electric cooperatives answered the call to provide mutual aid assistance to recovering cooperatives, which you can read about more on page 6 of this edition. Collectively, a total of 82 lineworkers have been involved in the process of providing mutual aid assistance to sister cooperative DEMCO based in the East Baton Rouge parish.

Co-ops were also able to aid local co-op employees through the Touchstone Energy Oklahoma Disaster Relief Fund. The fund was established in 2013 within the Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives (OAEC) for Oklahoma’s electric distribution and generation & transmission cooperatives to send financial relief assistance other cooperatives recovering from severe weather events. We are fortunate to be affiliated with the organizations and individuals who have given to help the victims in rebuilding homes and lives. Be proud your co-op is doing more than just keeping the lights on—they are always striving to make co-op members’ futures brighter.

By Chris Meyers

General Manager | Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives