West Florida Electric Cooperative has many blessings to be grateful for this year – especially during what has been one of the most active hurricane seasons in a long while.
During the past two months alone, two severe storms have impacted the U.S. coast. Hurricane Harvey caused extensive flooding and prolonged power outages in Texas and Hurricane Irma hit our state, leaving a path of destruction in her wake. Damages could have been much more extensive in our area during Hurricane Irma, but fortunately, our service area was on the west side of the storm – another blessing for which to be thankful.
Hurricane Irma left roughly 4 million Floridians in the dark for extended periods of time and roughly
785,000 of those were Florida co-op customers located in the peninsula. On Monday, September 11, outage
estimates for our fellow co-ops were much higher than ours. Here’s what were dealing with after the storm,
compared with WFEC’s 2,800 outages:
Florida Keys – 21,675
Peace River – 36,629
Lee County – 131,000
Withlacoochee – 122,000
SECO Energy – 106,390
Central Florida – 23,000
Clay Electric – 135,000
Suwannee Valley – 22,000
Tri-County – 15,000
Talquin Electric – 23,000
During times of need like this, our statewide electric cooperative association coordinates aid and designates where additional line crews are needed. Once all of our members were restored, ten of our linemen volunteered to travel to Live Oak, Florida to assist Suwannee Valley Electric Cooperative (SVEC) with their restoration efforts. These men were gone for a little over a week and diligently assisted SVEC, while working safely in very difficult environments. After their return, we have received many thanks for our assistance via social media and handwritten notes. 53676002
We are truly thankful that during dangerous working conditions on a daily basis, and, especially during storm restoration, our linemen have remained safe. That is due, in large part, to their commitment to safety
procedures and protocols. We appreciate their dedication to working safely, their willingness to assist others during times of need and their dedication to their profession.
We’re also thankful that our community recognizes the sacrifices of our linemen and their families. The linemen in our Graceville office were recently acknowledged by the Women’s Mission Union at New Home
Baptist Church, and we wish to thank them for their kind gesture. The women of the church sent a beautiful basket of baked goods as a thank you gift for our linemen. Thank you for recognizing their hard work.
As we approach the time of year where we take a moment to count our blessings, join us in being thankful for another year of safety, another year of reliable power and another year of serving the community.