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north arkansas electric cooperative edition

Above left: From left, NAEC’s Aaron Knight, Jeremy Perdue, Shawn Hardin and Jay Jones leave for Beauregard Electric Cooperative to help restore power after Hurricane Laura on Sept. 16. Above right: Hardin ties in wire to a newly set pole.

More than 1,200 line workers converged on Beauregard Electric Cooperative’s territory after Hurricane Laura cut service to all 43,000 of the Louisiana co-op’s members. North Arkansas Electric Cooperative’s Jay Jones, Shawn Hardin, Jeremy Perdue and Aaron Knight were in the second rotation of personnel to help the co-op rebuild after the Category 4 hurricane. They left Mountain Home on Sept. 16 and returned Sept. 30. They set new poles the first week before transitioning to pulling up services and hanging transformers. Many of their jobs were along — and in — a bayou. The biggest challenge Perdue and Jones mentioned was the muddy conditions that sometimes prevented the trucks from reaching a job site. At one point, they needed to get wire across the bayou to the Texas crew setting poles on the other side. “A neighbor with a boat shuttled us across so that we could pull the wire,” Jones said. “We would have been swimming otherwise.” Jones said they were thankful for the offer of a ride as it came right after the crew had spotted a large snake 22

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in the water. The boater also mentioned alligators eight to 11 feet long often were spotted in the area. The men lived in the tent city with hundreds of line workers helping with the restoration. Other challenges Jones mentioned included the long hours, humidity, rain, mosquitoes and love bugs, an irritating insect that usually travels in pairs and is found along the Gulf states. They recalled several positive interactions with Beauregard’s members. “Everybody that we talked to was really friendly and thankful we were there even though their power had been off about a month at that point,” Jones said. Electric cooperatives regularly offer mutual aid following hurricanes, ice storms and other disasters. “‘Cooperation among cooperatives’ is one of the seven principles by which NAEC and other co-ops operate,” said Tori Moss, marketing and communications director. “NAEC sends help if able, and we were thankful to receive assistance from hundreds of linemen and right-of-way personnel from across the country when rebuilding our system after the 2009 ice storm.”

IMAGES: DAVID MARTIN; JAY JONES; HMELL_C4 /ISTOCK.COM; NIETJUH/PIXABAY.COM

NAEC line workers assist Beauregard after Laura


NOVEMBER 11, 2020

my co-op

NAEC HONORS THOSE WHO SERVED.

Happy Thanksgiving! NAEC offices will be closed Thursday, Nov. 26, and Friday, Nov. 27. Personnel will be on call in the event of an outage. Please report by calling 870-895-3221 or using the app.

More co-op news on page 26 NORTH ARKANSAS ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE

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north arkansas electric cooperative edition

Third-party services often charge fees, can lead to delayed payments

Kelli Anderson and other NAEC member service representatives can enroll members in automatic bank draft or accept payments. They may be reached by calling 870-895-3221 during business hours.

NAEC wants members to be aware of possible drawbacks to using third-party payment services. All payment methods provided by the co-op include no additional charge; however, many third-party payment services, such as doxo, charge their users a fee. Also, some third-party payment services mail NAEC a check for the electric bill once a user pays them. Depending on when the payment is processed, this could lead to the co-op not receiving payments by the due date. NAEC offers several payment options. The most convenient is automatic bank draft, which is an electronic transfer from a member’s bank account to NAEC’s each month. Enrolling in this free service ensures the bill is paid on or about the 10th of each month and eliminates the cost of a stamp. To enroll in automatic bank draft, please call NAEC at 870-895-3221. Other payment methods include: • Member Account Portal — Go to www.naeci.com, click “Account Login” and enter user ID and password. If using for the first time, please click “New User” to get started. • NAEC Mobile App — Log in to an account using the free app. • Phone — Call NAEC at 870-895-3221 to make a payment with a Member Services employee during business hours or any time through our automated system. • NAEC offices — Visit the Salem or Mountain Home drive-throughs 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays, or drop a payment in the night deposit box any time. (No cash please.) • Mail — Send a check in the return envelope with the statement.

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IMAGE: AECC

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