As 2018 draws to a close, here’s a look at the stories that proved to be the most popular on electric.coop over the course of the year—from coverage of co-op power restoration after two major hurricanes to tales of lineworkers going above and beyond their job duties.
Florence packed a one-two punch, first making landfall on the North Carolina coast with record-breaking storm surge and heavy wind and rain, then causing devastating floods throughout the Southeast. In North Carolina alone, outages in co-op-served territories topped 320,000 at the height of the storm. Crews faced numerous detours caused by flooded roads, downed trees and debris in their efforts to get the lights back on—and were grateful for the assistance of electric co-ops from more than a dozen states who sent in personnel and equipment.
Less than a month after Florence, Michael slammed into the Florida Panhandle as one of the most intense hurricanes to ever hit the United States. Florida and Georgia faced the worst of the storm and its subsequent outages—and cooperation among co-ops was again key in deploying the resources needed to restore power in the hardest-hit communities.
Sometimes the most compelling stories have nothing to do with getting the lights back on. Back in June, Andrew Brown, a lineman at Mississippi’s Singing River Electric Cooperative, took the afternoon off for a road trip to Atlanta. He had stopped for dinner at a steakhouse when he noticed a woman choking at the table next to him. Brown quickly utilized his safety training to save her—just hours after attending a CPR refresher course at his co-op.
In another compelling reminder about the importance of safety training, a forestry foreman at Shelby Electric Cooperative in Illinois was lucky to have his co-workers nearby when a May pole-top training exercise turned into a real emergency. Kevin Carlen was 22 feet in the air when he suffered sudden cardiac arrest. His lineworker colleagues jumped into action to save him, quickly dividing up the work of getting him back on the ground, calling 911, administering CPR and applying the defibrillator.
Mountain View Electric Association General Manager John Rohr had a frugal reputation among residents of Limon, Colorado. So his community was stunned to learn after his death that the lifelong investor had made millions in mutual funds, most of which he left to his beloved town.
Happy holidays, electric.coop readers. We look forward to telling many more co-op stories in 2019!