Macon Electric Cooperative (MEC) experienced a major snowstorm that affected just over 5,000 members from early morning on Tuesday, January 9, to mid-afternoon on Thursday, January 11. Power outages throughout the cooperative territory, including parts or all of nine counties: Macon, Shelby, Knox, Adair, Sullivan, Linn, Chariton, Randolph, and Monroe counties. The power outages resulted primarily from broken lines caused by heavy snow and high winds.
Assistance was provided by Boone Electric Cooperative, Callaway Electric Cooperative, Howard Electric Cooperative, and Scobee Powerline Construction. In total, MEC had eleven crews dispatched consisting of over forty linemen. Employees worked around the clock to restore power. Operations Manager Josh Langhammer said, “We keep a close eye on the weather forecasts and do extensive preparations, including readying trucks and equipment. Our employees are briefed on outage operation procedures, and all hands are on deck when needed.” MEC has an extensive right-of-way clearing rotation and outage preparation to minimize damages caused by bad weather.
As the outages continued through Tuesday and into Wednesday, community establishments set up warming centers for members without power. “We are so grateful for the patience and understanding our members show,” says Tim Korman, General Manager and CEO. “We know being without power for an extensive amount of time can be alarming. The sacrifices and graciousness during the winter weather event show how amazing the membership of Macon Electric Cooperative is.”
“All employees worked incredibly hard to restore power and showed remarkable dedication to their jobs and communities,” said Rebecca Miller, Manager of Marketing and Communications. MEC last saw power outages of this magnitude in 2011 and 2002. “The community stepped up to support the co-op and fellow members. We could not be more thankful.”