Indiana electric cooperatives respond to winter storm damage

Ten cooperatives send crews to storm-damaged Virginia

A Rappahannock Electric Cooperative (Culpeper, Virginia) employee works to restore power after a winter storm moved through the area.
Photo Credit: Rappahannock Electric Cooperative

Ten Indiana electric cooperatives sent crews and equipment to assist with the power restoration effort in Virginia after a winter storm moved through the state.

Thirty electric cooperative lineworkers were dispatched to Rappahannock Electric Cooperative in Culpeper, Virginia, to assist in the power recovery effort after more than 85,000 of the electric distribution cooperative’s consumers were left without electricity following heavy, wet snow and high winds. The responding crews represented ten of Indiana’s electric cooperatives: Henry County REMC (New Castle), Heartland REMC (Wabash), Jasper County REMC (Rensselaer), Northeastern REMC (Columbia City), RushShelby Energy (Manilla), South Central Indiana REMC (Martinsville), Southern Indiana Power (Tell City), Tipmont REMC (Linden), Utilities District of Western Indiana REMC (Bloomfield), and Whitewater Valley REMC (Liberty).

“Every cooperative in the Indiana electric cooperative family is an integral part of a state and national network of hundreds of fellow cooperatives,” said Jon Elkins, vice president of safety, training and compliance for Indiana Electric Cooperatives. “It is incumbent upon us to work together and help one another in times of disaster, to make sure our power delivery systems are repaired as quickly, safely and cost-effectively as possible.”

Rappahannock Electric Cooperative provides electric service to nearly 170,000 connections in portions of 22 Virginia counties.

“We take care of emergency needs at home first, but our crews are eager to help those in need,” said Elkins. “They take a tremendous amount of pride in representing their home cooperative and the state of Indiana. They represent us well with how hard, professionally and safely they work.”

Regardless of the circumstance, it is important to remember safety around downed power lines. Always assume a downed power line is still energized. If you see a downed line, stay away and contact your electric utility. Additionally, stay away from limbs or trees in contact with downed lines because they can be conductors of electricity.

The Indiana electric cooperative mutual aid program provides cooperative assistance in service restoration from storms or other events that result in significant power outages.