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Missouri Electric Co-op Lineworkers Traveling to Louisiana

From left to right: Tyler Headrick, Aaron Michel, David Scott, Corey Sanders, Isaac Henning, and Bob Matthews

Branson, Missouri

Hurricane Ida left a trail of damage and destruction along the Gulf Coast following its landfall on Sunday. In response, Missouri’s electric cooperatives have mobilized to answer a call for help. At the request of DEMCO Electric Cooperative, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, more than 150 Missouri lineworkers from 30 of the state’s electric cooperatives are traveling to Louisiana to assist in the cleanup. Missouri is sending both construction and service crews to help with the power restoration efforts at the co-op just east of Baton Rouge. White River Valley Electric’s crews left from the Branson campus on Wednesday morning.

DEMCO is the largest electric cooperative in Louisiana, serving more than 112,000 members. As of Monday morning, more than 77,000 DEMCO members, 68%, were without electricity.

Cooperation among cooperatives is a founding principle here at WRVEC,” said John Combs, Manager of Operations at WRVEC. “Our crews are always ready to answer the call when other co-op’s are in need.” Missouri’s restoration efforts are being spearheaded by the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives. White River Valley Electric Cooperative is one of the many Missouri cooperatives sending crews down to Louisiana to assist in the hurricane relief.

Missouri’s electric cooperatives have a long history of lending a helping hand to its cooperative peers in trying times. Missouri crews first helped with hurricane relief efforts in 2004 when the Gulf Coast was hit by Hurricane Ivan and have been doing so since. Their most recent deployments were in 2020 when crews traveled to Louisiana twice for hurricanes Delta and Zeta.

The favor has been returned, as Missouri co-ops received assistance restoring power following devastating ice storms in 2007 and 2009.

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White River Valley Electric Cooperative is a Touchstone Energy Cooperative dedicated to ensuring our members receive safe and reliable service in their homes and businesses across five southwest Missouri counties including Ozark, Taney, Stone, Christian and Douglas.