Thirty workers from the Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives are in Nebraska helping repair downed power poles and power lines from the recent snowstorm.
Dennis Corcoran, the association’s director of safety and loss control, says the crews will work in Columbus, Nebraska. “There’s poles down and lines also are down…broken off by the winds and the weight of the snow and ice,” he says.
The working conditions are not the best, according to Corcoran. Corcoran says “it’s pretty tough going” with a lot of help from four-wheel drive tractors and help from the National Guard and others.
Iowa crews helped restore power in the wake of the 2005 hurricanes in the Gulf region. Corcoran says this work is in conditions that’re more like home. The only difference between Nebraska and Iowa are the rules for drivers and Corcoran says they have to be sure to have the correct waivers in place.
The crews could be back in Iowa by next week. Corcoran says they’re expected to work through the weekend and then they’ll evaluate whether they need to rotate some new crews in.
Thirty linemen from 10 Iowa electric co-ops drove 13 trucks with five pole trailers to Nebraska. The Iowa crews are working under an agreement with the Nebraska Rural Electric Association. The Iowa crews are from the following RECS: Farmers Electric Cooperative, Greenfield; Glidden REC, Glidden; Guthrie County REC, Guthrie Center; Harrison County REC, Woodbine; Midland Power Cooperative, Jefferson; Nishnabotna Valley REC, Harlan; North West REC, Le Mars/Orange City; Southwest Iowa REC, Stanton/Corning/Mt. Ayr; Western Iowa Power Cooperative, Denison; and Woodbury County REC, Moville.