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Wiregrass Electric Cooperative Ends Emergency Response, Begins Long Task Of Cleanup And Restoration

October 19, 2018

Wiregrass Electric Cooperative ends its emergency restoration efforts today, having restored power to 18,000 members affected by Hurricane Michael.

“This has been a massive effort,” said WEC Chief Operating Officer Brad Kimbro. “It’s hard to convey the amount of work that has taken place since Michael made landfall. We’ve had hundreds of people working before dawn till after dark for days on end. The labor and logistics have been amazing. We’re so deeply appreciative of everyone who helped us recover.”

WEC has already released most of the crews that came in to assist the cooperative in its recovery. Those crews will continue on to Florida or Georgia to help the restoration effort still underway there. The entire restoration effort was completed without a single injury. “It’s important to note,” said Kimbro, “that we did this safely. Everyone who worked here stayed safe and kept that safety a priority.

“Our WEC line workers will now have a longer job ahead of them,” said Kimbro. “Our goal over the last nine days has been to do anything we could to get the lights on. We’ve accomplished that task, but now we must go back and continue the work of restoration: clean up, service work, right-of-way clearance and more.” Kimbro said this effort will take months of labor.

Michael’s wind brought many trees down, broke approximately 550 power poles and left 18,000 WEC members without power. “That’s the distance between Dothan and Troy,” said Kimbro. In a week, WEC has restored power to 96 percent of the members who were affected. Our area has not seen a storm of this magnitude in a long time and maybe ever,” said Kimbro. “We’ve seen 80- to 100-year-old trees brought down by the winds from this storm. It was historic.”

WEC is also appreciative of all the positive words and prayers they have received from WEC members over the course of this recovery. “We love our members,” said Kimbro. “They are our reason for everything we do. To have their support during this time was so appreciated.” WEC’s thoughts and prayers are with those still recovering from the storm. “Even though the power is back on,” said Kimbro, “we know several of our members are still dealing with lasting effects from the storm. We are thinking of you during this time.”

WEC also wants to remind everyone who cannot receive service because of repairs the member must make to please stay in touch with the cooperative. “If those repairs are made, we need to know that,” said Kimbro. Please call the cooperative at 800-239-4602 and let WEC know you are ready to be restored.