Crews from eight states converge to help PRECO restoration effort

Posted: September 30, 2022 at 7:58 pm

Friday, September 30, 2022 

Wauchula, Fla. – Almost 600 workers from 34 electric cooperatives or contractors across eight states are joining the monumental PRECO restoration effort following Hurricane Ian. The workers from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas are providing a major boost to the co-op’s own workforce.

“Cooperation among cooperatives is a core co-op principle. And in tough times like these, that principle of cooperation takes on new meaning,” said PRECO CEO Randy Shaw. “As we work together to restore power in challenging conditions, the strength and boost from these co-op workers is instrumental as we work together to overcome the unimaginable.

The power restoration process in the wake of Hurricane Ian is a marathon, not a sprint. We’re working to get the lights back on as quickly and safely as possible in unprecedented conditions.”

Over 100 workers arrived at PRECO before the storm. They started work as soon as Hurricane Ian’s winds no longer posed a safety threat. Over 300 workers arrived on site Friday. By Saturday, almost 600 workers and contractors will be out repairing Ian’s damage. Shaw said that this massive effort is necessary to restore power in as short a time as possible.

“Out-of-state work crews are the lifeblood of storm restoration efforts following a major hurricane like Ian,” said Shaw. “The crews and equipment will remain here for as long as necessary to complete this enormous restoration project.

That said, consumers in the hardest hit areas should expect the restoration process to last days. As we work together to rebuild our community, we continue to ask for patience and understanding from consumers.”

PRECO is following standard utility practice as it repairs and energizes its lines. Feeder and primary lines are repaired first, then secondary and service lines next. This method restores power to the greatest number of people in the shortest amount of time.

Ian’s destructive winds blew utility poles to the ground and knocked hundreds of trees onto power lines.   The historic flooding washed out roads and bridges, cutting off access to many areas. Almost 90 percent of PRECO’s consumers were left without power.

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Peace River Electric Cooperative (PRECO), a Touchstone Energy® distribution electric cooperative headquartered in Wauchula, Florida, provides electric service and energy solutions to more than 57,000 member/consumers in 10 central Florida counties: Brevard, DeSoto, Hardee, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Manatee, Osceola, Polk and Sarasota. Through over 4,000 miles of power lines, the electric cooperative has been in business since 1940 as a member-owned, not-for-profit organization.