Rural Missouri - July 2019 - 4

RM

| C O O P E R AT I O N

photos by Zach Smith

Above: Gov. Mike Parson and his wife,Teresa, turned out to personally thank linemen from Three Rivers Electric Cooperative for their hard work following a tornado that struck Cole and Miller
counties. Below: Employees of Boone Electric Cooperative dropped whatever they were doing to fill sandbags as flood waters threatened Hartsburg and Rocheport.

Stormy Weather

Relentless weather keeps linemen battling outages

S

pring storms are nothing new to Missouri's
electric cooperatives, but the constant barrage of stormy weather this year kept cooperatives around the state reeling. From April
through June, linemen repaired damage on an
almost daily basis, only to see their work undone by
yet another storm.
Meanwhile, those cooperatives serving near rivers had to pull meters ahead of the worst flooding
since the Great Flood of 1993.
The storms saw many cooperatives repair damage to their own system, then send crews to assist
neighboring cooperatives. That was the case for
Webster Electric in Marshfield. On May 1, tornadoes
and straight line winds caused destruction across
more than 15 miles of the co-op's service area.
The cooperative's own linemen worked 30 hours
before safety concerns called for a rest. But the
work continued thanks to fresh crews from Co-Mo
Electric Cooperative, Tipton.
Southwest Electric Cooperative had its own
issues. But once it had wrapped up repairs, crews
were sent east to assist Webster Electric, which
reported the damage to its system from that storm:
40 broken poles, 15,000 feet of wire that had to be
replaced and 3,000 hours worked.
A few weeks later, Webster Electric was on the
giving end, sending its pole setting skid steer loader
to neighboring Se-Ma-No Electric Cooperative in
Mansfield. The tracked machine can go into muddy
terrain where trucks would bog down, speeding up
the restoration for Se-Ma-No members. Barry Electric also helped.
White River Valley Electric in Branson was anoth-

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MISSOURI
Volume 72

JULY 2019

Number 7

RURAL

"Devoted to the rural way of life"

Rural Missouri is published monthly by the Association of Missouri
Electric Cooperatives, Caleb Jones, CEO/executive vice president.
Individual subscription rate: $10 per year or $22 for three
years, taxes and postage included. Group rate for members of
participating RECs $2.22, plus taxes and postage, paid from equity
accruing to the member. Delivery as specified by subscriber. If not
specified, delivery will be by periodical class mail at subscriber's
expense. Periodical Class postage paid at Jefferson City, MO, and
additional mailing offices. Copyright 2019, Association of Missouri
Electric Cooperatives. Call for reprint rights.

4

RURAL MISSOURI | JULY 2019

er system hit by wave after wave of storms. On April
29, crews worked through the night to repair damage affecting 2,200 members. Work was nearly complete when another storm struck. On May 1, a band
of tornadoes swept across all five counties it serves
with winds as high as 107 mph snapping poles or
yanking them out of the ground.
Those storms continued into Howell-Oregon

Electric to the east. The cooperative's linemen had
to find alternate ways to reach outages as flash
floods swept through the area. One line in Shannon
County had to be rebuilt across a swollen river.
"God bless our linemen," wrote one HowellOregon member, recognizing the hard work crews
faced. The Facebook post echoed messages sent by
thousands of those affected by the storms, more
concerned with the safety of crews than their own
lack of power.
May 20 saw Southwest Electric in need of assistance, which came from Co-Mo Electric, White River
Valley and Webster Electric cooperatives.
Barton County Electric, Lamar, and Three Rivers
Electric, Linn, also faced significant damage from
tornadoes on May 22. With help from Osage Valley Electric, Barton County quickly restored power.
Damage was more extensive for Three Rivers, where
crews worked four days to repair damage from
Eldon to the state capital.
The tornado narrowly missed Central Electric
Power Cooperative, whose crews worked side by
side with Three Rivers. Also coming to their aid was
Macon Electric and Crawford Electric, whose linemen helped replace more than 104 broken poles.
Boone Electric saw its share of storms, but helped
prevent further disaster by sending 30 employees
to sandbag in Hartsburg and Rocheport. "Commitment to community is one of the seven Cooperative
Principles that Boone Electric follows," says Boone
Electric Manager Todd Culley. "It doesn't get any
closer to this principle when you see one of your
small towns struggling. I'm proud of our crews for
helping out as the water levels continued to rise."
At United Electric, Maryville, linemen worked 82
outages over seven days at one point. Their efforts
included pulling meters ahead of flooding in 14
locations around Amazonia.
Despite the extra workload, linemen seemed to
take it all in stride, doing whatever it took to restore
power for their neighbors.

EDITORIAL STAFF: Jim McCarty, editor, jmccarty@ruralmissouri.coop
Paul Newton, managing editor, pnewton@ruralmissouri.coop | Heather Berry, associate editor, hberry@ruralmissouri.coop
Megan Backes, creative director, mbackes@ruralmissouri.coop | Zach Smith, field editor, zsmith@ruralmissouri.coop
Angie Jones-Wheeler, co-op page designer
ADVERTISING: Mary Davis, production manager, mdavis@ruralmissouri.coop
Postmasters: Send address changes to Rural Missouri, P.O. Box 1645, Jefferson City, MO 65102.
Subscribers: Report change of address to your local cooperative. Do not send change of address to Rural Missouri.
Advertising standards: Advertising published in Rural Missouri is accepted on the premise that the merchandise and services offered are
accurately described and sold to customers at the advertised price. Rural Missouri and Missouri's electric cooperatives do not endorse
any products or services advertised herein. Advertising that does not conform to these standards or that is deceptive or misleading is
never knowingly accepted by this publication.

Editorial: Rural Missouri, P.O. Box 1645, Jefferson City, MO 65102
573-659-3423 | info@ruralmissouri.coop | www.ruralmissouri.coop
Advertising: mdavis@ruralmissouri.coop | 573-659-3400
National Advertising Representative: American MainStreet Publications;
611 S. Congress St., Suite 504; Austin, TX 78704 | 573-659-3400

USPS 473-000 ISSN 0164-8578

Circulation of this issue: 561,306


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Rural Missouri - July 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - July 2019

Contents
Rural Missouri - July 2019 - Cover1
Rural Missouri - July 2019 - Cover2
Rural Missouri - July 2019 - Contents
Rural Missouri - July 2019 - 4
Rural Missouri - July 2019 - 5
Rural Missouri - July 2019 - 6
Rural Missouri - July 2019 - 7
Rural Missouri - July 2019 - 8
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Rural Missouri - July 2019 - Cover3
Rural Missouri - July 2019 - Cover4
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