Louisiana electric co-ops send crews to assist Florida in the aftermath of Hurricane Idalia.

Posted: August 31, 2023 at 8:06 pm

One month before the anniversary of Hurricane Ian, a Category 5 Hurricane that struck Southwest Florida just last year, Louisiana electric cooperatives are sending mutual aid to assist Florida’s recovery from the aftermath of Hurricane Idalia. The Category 3 storm made landfall Wednesday, August 30, in Southwest Florida near Cedar Key. Significant destruction from the 125+mph winds and storm surge caused over 135,000 outages in Florida.

Following the principle of Cooperation Among Cooperatives, five electric distribution cooperatives in Louisiana are en route to Florida, where they will assist with restoration efforts in the coming weeks.

Louisiana co-ops are working under the nationwide mutual aid agreement with the coordination of the Florida Electric Cooperative Association. They have been assigned to assist their sister Tri-County Electric Cooperative, located in Madison, FL. Tri-County coverage area consists of Madison County, Taylor County, and Jefferson County.

“We are dedicated to supporting our sister cooperatives during this challenging time, and together, we will work to navigate through the destruction and emerge stronger on the other side,” said ALEC CEO Addie Armato.

ALEC’s Aarron Graham, Director of Loss Control, will coordinate the mobilization of Louisiana’s mutual aid crews and Safety Coordinator Ricky Melancon will accompany the response crews.  The following Louisiana electric cooperatives are sending crews to Tri-County Electric:

  • Claiborne Electric Cooperative, Inc.
  • South Louisiana Electric Cooperative Association (SLECA)
  • Southwest Louisiana Electric Membership Corporation (SLEMCO)
  • Washington St. Tammany Electric Cooperative, Inc. (WSTE)

“We ask that you keep our lineworkers and essential personnel in your thoughts and prayers. They work tirelessly to restore electricity in difficult and dangerous conditions,” said Armato.