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WE Powered Through, Thanks To You

[Note: In lieu of a column from CEO Les Moreland, this space is being used as a message from all of Wiregrass Electric Cooperative.]

Alabama native Helen Keller once said, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” In October, when Hurricane Michael landed in the Wiregrass, the members and employees of Wiregrass Electric Cooperative learned firsthand how important teamwork is to accomplishing the impossible.

On the night of Oct. 10, when Michael had passed over our homes and businesses, 18,000 WEC members were without power. Hundreds of electric poles lay broken on the ground, and even more trees lay twisted on top of them.

Working alone, WEC would have spent months repairing all the damage. But we were never alone in this storm. As the storm came in, so did linemen and other workers from our sister cooperatives throughout all of Alabama. Nine days later, when we ended our recovery effort, we had 225 men working beside us who had left their homes and their families to sleep on a cot and restore power to the Wiregrass.

We cannot say “thank you” enough to these individuals, our sister cooperatives who sent them, and the families that went without.

In many cases, these linemen picked up their gear after completing the job here and drove on to Florida or Georgia to assist cooperatives there. Our cooperative had linemen who did the same thing. It’s this “cooperation among cooperatives” that makes the whole stronger than the individual.

While the line crews were essential to restoring our decimated infrastructure, it’s our members who drove us and inspired us through those nine days. It’s the notes of gratitude we received in the office, the signs posted along the side of the road where our line crews were working, or the inspirational notes tucked into pockets from the church members who helped wash clothes.

To everyone who helped, who fed us, who cheered us on or who had a nice word to say: Thank you. We could not have done this without you, and everything we did was for you. The Wiregrass is a community, and we’re blessed to be a part of it. When Hurricane Michael destroyed so much, it was you who helped us rebuild.

From all WEC employees and board members, thank you for all the help we received.