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Co-ops Recovering From Hurricane Harvey

September 1, 2017

Electric cooperatives in Texas continue to make significant progress recovering from the destruction of Hurricane Harvey, the category 4 storm that made landfall at Rockport late Friday, August 25. In addition to dozens of deaths and unprecedented flooding in Houston and other areas of the Texas coast, more than 160,000 co-op meters lost power. Victoria Electric Cooperative in Victoria and Jackson Electric Cooperative in Edna experienced outages of their entire systems. 

Jimmie Scott, a seven-year lineman at Jackson EC, lost his home when Harvey made landfall. The home, built by his father, was damaged beyond repair when Bucks Bayou near Bay City flooded.

"He came to work distraught the first day it happened but would not go back home to the damage," says Jim Coleman, Jackson EC general manager. "Said he had his job to do. How can you not stand in awe of someone who is so dedicated to their profession that they will, regardless of their personal tragedy, continue to do their job in a professional manner?"

Response to the widespread disaster was swift as about one-third of the 67 distribution co-ops in Texas sent crews to the affected areas as part of a mutual aid response. By Thursday afternoon, August 31, fewer than 14,000 meters were without power because of the storm. Thursday night, Jasper-Newton Electric Cooperative in Kirbyville lost service from its transmission provider, causing an outage to its entire system.

TEC's Manufacturing and Distribution Services staff has been on standby to assist with needed materials. Last week, in preparation last week for the storm's landfall, TEC delivered 24 loads of poles and stored $1.2 million in inventory in the region to help expedite restoration needs. By midday Monday, TEC also had delivered 13 loads of poles and four loads of materials, relocated MDS employees to help with distribution of materials, and provided meals and water to the restoration crews. An additional seven truckloads of poles and materials shipped Thursday.

Storm-related power outages at Texas co-ops:

Southeast Texas co-ops
hurricane landfall/
rainfall/flooding

Total
Meters

Peak Storm-Related
Outages

Remaining Storm-Related
Outages

Bluebonnet EC

 

94,000

12,760

0

Fayette EC

 

14,156

6,547

3

Guadalupe Valley EC

   

79,796

17,000

23

Jackson EC

 

15,258

15,258

350

Karnes  EC

 

19,349

850

0

Mid-South Synergy

 

27,895

4,200

12

Nueces EC

 

18,548

5,907

3

Pedernales EC

 

292,809

19,599

0

San Bernard EC

 

25,397

16, 092

52

San Patricio EC

 

11,259

9,458

500

Victoria EC

 

22,459

22,459

6,726 

Wharton EC

 

6,206

500

0

East Texas co-ops tropical
storm rainfall/flooding

     

Deep East Texas EC

 

41,807

3,627

0

Jasper-Newton EC

 

22,548

5,000

2,800

Sam Houston EC

 

71,938

23,266

1,826

How You Can Help Co-ops

For those who want to help co-op employees directly affected by the hurricane, TEC has established a relief fund. Checks can be sent to TEC Hurricane Harvey Disaster Relief Fund, Texas Electric Cooperatives, 1122 Colorado Street 24th floor, Austin, TX 78701.