Boone Electric Sends Help To Louisiana

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COLUMBIA - Boone Electric Cooperative sent six linemen out to Louisiana on Thursday to aid in restoring power in the wake of Hurricane Issac. The linemen are going to assist Dixie Electric Membership Corporation (DEMCO). DEMCO has 100,000 customers and as of Thursday morning, almost 55,000 of them had lost power.

A spokesman from the Association of Louisiana Electric Cooperatives says Hurricane Issac did not cause the level of damage that Hurricanes Katrina and Gustav did. Regardless, the damage was severe enough to warrant outside help. Chris Rohlfing, Manager of Member Services at Boone Electrical, says that three days after first notification that help might be needed, the cooperative was finally called in. "We received notification this morning that help is needed and our guys were dispatched to go to DEMCO, which is on the outside of Baton Rouge, Louisiana," he said.

Rohlfing elaborated on what the linemen's duties would most likely be in Louisiana. "Very often when the crews are dispatched they will start at a substation, and their job will be to work on a line to be able to restore power to the individual who is at the furthest part of that line," he said. "If the trees are on the power lines, they'll have to cut the trees off, they'll have to get the line back up again and do all of this safely."

The linemen will arrive Friday to work in devastated areas. They'll be working with crews from 30 of Missouri's electric cooperatives, totalling about 150 workers. Boone Electric management expects the workers to stay there six to eight days.