This morning around 5:30 am, North Western Electric Co-op sent two local journeyman linemen (Braden Miller and Chad Livensparger) to assist with power restoration and storm cleanup in northern Virginia. The linemen will likely spend between three to five days restoring power to Rappahannock Electric Cooperative members.
In total, 44 men from 18 rural electric cooperatives across Ohio left for Woodford, VA, to assist in restoring power to residents affected by the recent snowstorm that took out power to more than 200,000 residents across Northern Virginia and DC.
Ohio's electric cooperatives participate in the national power restoration program known as "Mutual Aid", where line workers, tree-clearing crews, damage assessors, and safety teams join forces to restore electricity during massive outages. “Cooperation Among Cooperatives” is one of the 7 Cooperative Principles co-ops abide by when a fellow co-op is overwhelmed by destruction and needs help.
In essence, co-ops believe in “paying it forward” because every utility can use help from time to time for quicker power restoration; one day, lineworkers from your local co-op could be traveling south, but the next, your local co-op might need a hand after an ice storm and call upon another for help getting lights back on more quickly. As typically smaller, not-for-profit utilities, co-ops band together to be more effective in serving their members.
Those wanting more information can follow the co-op's social media pages on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for updates.