Following the devastation caused by Hurricane Laura, as with many similar natural disasters throughout recent American history, there are many willing to lend a helping hand. Some of the individuals, in this case, are from a little closer to home for Moniteau County citizens.
Co-Mo Electric Cooperative has sent 12 linemen to lend assistance to Beauregard Electric Cooperative, Inc., based in DeRidder, Louisiana, with restoring power to their area in the aftermath of the Category 4 hurricane that struck the southern United States in late August. That group of linemen is set to return home soon, when eight other linemen from Co-Mo will head down south to continue assisting.
Co-Mo's linemen are part of a group of 130 linemen from Missouri committed to helping the area.
"Co-Mo has a history of helping fellow cooperatives in need," Patrick Wood, public relations and communications with Co-Mo Electric Cooperative, said of Co-Mo's decision to get on board. "In this instance, Louisiana's statewide cooperative association reached out to Missouri cooperatives."
Co-Mo has a history of helping out other cooperatives when approached, Wood said, which is based in one of Co-Mo's seven principles: "cooperation among cooperatives." More recently, Co-Mo has helped out local cooperatives following larger storms, such as Webster Electric Cooperative during spring of last year, and cooperatives out of state such as Talquin Electric Cooperative in Florida in 2018, after their service territory was hit by Hurricane Michael.
"We are extremely proud of the dedication of our Co-Mo lineman who have traveled to assist those in need in Louisiana following the devastation left by Hurricane Laura," Co-Mo Connect Powered by Co-Mo Electric Cooperative CEO Aaron Bradshaw said. "Without hesitation, these men volunteered to offer assistance to Beauregard Electric Cooperative as they work to restore power."
Beauregard Electric Cooperative has a Hurricane Laura timeline update available on its website at beci.org/content/hurricane-laura.