SEVERE STORMS & FLOODING THROUGHOUT SOUTHERN ILLINOIS
The month of April brought violent storms and historic rain fall to Southern Illinois causing significant destruction and devastation to the region due to high winds and major flooding. Your Cooperative experienced widespread outages from these storms. Your Cooperative was also faced with several challenges due to the extreme flooding.
On the evening of April 19th severe weather moved through the area producing wind gusts from 65 to 95 mph causing extensive damage throughout the Cooperative's service area leaving approximately 8,300 members without service. At that time, all of the Cooperative employees were working on the restoration process and additional contract crews were called in to assist in the restoration process.
During the course of the storm, all your Cooperative employees along with crews from two Kentucky Cooperatives and area contractors worked 17-18 hours per day to restore power. At the peak of the storm the Cooperative had lost power to 14 of the Cooperative's 35 substations. Once power was restored to these substations, your Cooperative focused on re-energizing lines that would restore power to as many members as possible. After restoring power to the main distribution lines, restoration efforts focused on restoring power to devastated secondary lines. Your Cooperative restored power to the last residence on Friday, April 22nd.
Following the restoration of service due to the violent storms that swept through the area, the rain began to fall. Southern Illinois experienced record rainfall totals in April causing significant flooding along the Ohio river and many communities in our service area. Rainfall totals in your Cooperative's service territory ranged from 10 to 15 inches. Your Cooperative had to pull numerous meters and de-energize several lines that were less than six feet from the water for safety. Your Cooperative utilized boats to restore outages that occurred in these areas due to impassible roads.
On April 25, 2011, as a result of the severe storms and flooding Governor Quinn proclaimed a disaster exists in the following counties served by your Cooperative: Franklin, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Johnson, Massac, Pope, Saline, White and Williamson. Your Cooperative has been working with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) in an attempt to encourage the Governor of Illinois to request FEMA assistance for expenses incurred from the wind storm as well as the major flooding. Your Cooperative will be providing IEMA with the initial damage assessments to determine if assistance is available.
We want to thank all Cooperative members for their patience, understanding and assistance as we restored service during these storms. We also want to thank all Cooperative employees, area contractor employees and Kentucky Cooperative employees for their hard work and dedication that made this restoration possible.
See you next month and as always, "We'll keep the lights on for you."
SouthEastern Illinois Electric Cooperative 2007. All rights reserved.