BATON ROUGE (November 4, 2021) – At their October 25 board meeting, the Hurricane Relief Fund Committee recommended to the Association of Louisiana Electric Cooperatives (ALEC) Board of Directors to make a monetary distribution to the cooperative employees affected by Hurricane Ida from donations received from electric cooperatives, cooperative employees, and our cooperative partners and vendors from all over the United States . The ALEC board approved different levels of monetary donations to DEMCO, SLECA, and Washington-St. Tammany electric cooperatives. The donations helped 102 employees that either lost their homes or incurred severe damages caused by Hurricane Ida.
During the first week of November, ALEC Interim CEO Addie Armato hand delivered checks to DEMCO’s general manager Randy Pierce, SLECA’s general manager Joe Ticheli, and WSTE’s director Dr. Francis Cefalu. “It is unimaginable to lose your home. They’ve lost everything they have worked for, but because of the generosity of others and the cooperative way we are able to deliver them some hope and relief,” said Armato.
Hurricane Ida made landfall to the already storm weary coast of Louisiana. At landfall it was an intense Category 4 storm with sustained winds of 150 mph. Leaving a trail of widespread destruction from the coast across the southeast region of the state. “This is the worst we (SLECA) have seen in a quarter of a century,” said SLECA General Manager Joe Ticheli.
Immediately after Hurricane Ida, ALEC activated its Hurricane Relief Fund. “We began getting inquires from our sister cooperatives and cooperative partners all over the United States within days of the storm,” said ALEC Chief Operating Officer Beama Pierce. “It was overwhelming to see the outpour of love and support.” ALEC collected over $129,000 from many cooperatives, cooperative employees, cooperative partners, and vendors.
Louisiana electric cooperative employees will use the donations to help pay insurance deductibles and start rebuilding their lives once the power has been restored to their members. “It’s what makes working for electric cooperatives so special. We are all family and we take care of one another,” said Armato.
The Association of Louisiana Electric Cooperatives Board of Directors and the Hurricane Relief Fund Committee on behalf of the DEMCO, SLECA and WSTE cooperative employees would like to thank all the cooperatives, cooperative employees, and our cooperative partners and vendors who made contributions to the ALEC Hurricane Relief Fund.