Springing to Action

CVEC Helps 2 Co-Ops Recover from Storms

Coosa Valley Electric Cooperative linemen work to rebuild Tombigbee Electric Cooperative’s system following an early March storm.

Alabama lineworkers have developed a reputation for being highly responsive and skilled at their craft — something they displayed several times during a tempestuous March. 2 sets of storms generated more than 6,000 outages for 2 northern Alabama cooperatives. Each time, several Coosa Valley Electric Cooperative crews helped shorten those cooperatives’ recovery efforts.

“It’s a testament of the Alabama guys,” says Patrick Turner, director of operations for Joe Wheeler Electric Membership Corporation near Huntsville. “When I’ve gone to storm responses in other places, people really brag on the Alabama linemen. It’s gratifying that we’ve got guys that are skilled and know what to expect.”

Storms on March 24 and 25 generated at least two tornadoes, leading to more than 6,200 outages for Joe Wheeler EMC. CVEC joined four other Alabama utility groups and a Tennessee cooperative to help restore power to everyone within 36 hours, Turner says.

“We had 45 or 46 broken poles, lines down everywhere and one fatality in Morgan County — one of our customers,” he says. “The CVEC group was able to concentrate on a main three-phase line and set poles.”

CVEC’s 3-man right-of-way crew also provided some much-needed assistance, Turner notes.

Earlier in March, another storm system created more than 6,600 outages for Tombigbee Electric Cooperative in northwest Alabama. A seven-man CVEC crew left March 4 to assist recovery efforts — just hours after repairing 1,300 outages locally caused by the same storm. The crew spent more than 3 days supporting TEC.

CVEC Crews Participating in Storm Response

Tromblgee Electric Co-Op (March 4 through 7)

  • Allen Perley
  • Cody Garrett
  • Sawyer Sims
  • Chase Lackey
  • Jacob Green
  • Noah Gray
  • Cor’Darius Swain

Joe Wheeler Electric Membership Co-Op (March 25 through 26)

  • Allen Perley
  • Matt Jeffers
  • Sawyer Sims
  • Noah Gray
  • Chanse Rice
  • Braden Hubbard
  • Larry Howard
  • Jared Bishop
  • Jason Bishop

Electric Cooperative Principle Number 6

“Cooperation Among Cooperatives: By working together through local, national, regional and international structures, cooperatives improve services, bolster local economies, and deal more effectively with social and community needs.”

– National Rural Electric Cooperative Association