ST MARYS — North Western Electric Cooperative (Bryan), Paulding Putnam Electric Cooperative (Paulding), and Midwest Electric (St Marys) each sent two local linemen Tuesday, Jan. 4, to assist with power restoration and storm cleanup in northern Virginia. Together, the three co-ops sent six lineworkers, who will likely spend between three to five days restoring power to Rappahannock Electric Cooperative members.
In total, 44 men from 18 rural electric cooperatives across Ohio left for Woodford, Virginia, to assist in restoring power to residents affected by the recent snowstorm that took out power to more than 200,000 residents across Northern Virginia and DC.
Ohio’s electric cooperatives participate in the national power restoration program known as “Mutual Aid”, where line workers, tree-clearing crews, damage assessors, and safety teams join forces to restore electricity during massive outages. “Cooperation Among Cooperatives” is one of the 7 Cooperative Principles co-ops abide by when a fellow co-op is overwhelmed by destruction and needs help. In essence, co-ops believe in “paying it forward” because every utility can use help from time to time for quicker power restoration; one day, lineworkers from your local co-op could be traveling south, but the next, your local co-op might need a hand after an ice storm and call upon another for help getting lights back on more quickly. As typically smaller, not-for-profit utilities, co-ops band together to be more effective in serving their members.
Those wanting more information can contact their respective co-op for details or watch their social media updates on Facebook:
• North Western Electric Cooperative: www.nwec.com or 800-647-6932
• Paulding Putnam Electric Cooperative: www.PPEC.coop or 800-686-2357
• Midwest Electric: www.midwestrec.com or 800-962-3830