GRACEVILLE – As of 10:00 a.m. this morning the cooperative’s restoration figures were:
- Holmes County: 99% restored
- Washington County: 53% restored
- Jackson County: 24% restored (ten times the devastation)
- Calhoun County: 9% restored (ten times the devastation)
The co-op serves approximately 40% of its total membership out of the Sneads district office; 30% from Bonifay and 30% from Graceville. The majority of the damage to the electric distribution system was done in east Jackson County and Calhoun County, which is served primarily out of the Sneads district office.
The following is an example of what our crews are up against to rebuild and restore power. This was in an area that was not the most devastated. Yesterday, in an area on Old Bonifay Road, a six-man crew worked all day with two bucket trucks and a digger truck to repair a span of line which had numerous trees on it. All three spans of line were down in one stretch and it was also down in two other places. There was one broken pole and several that had to be straightened – a bucket had to be placed on each pole along the span to make repairs. They worked all day to make these repairs and the result was that 25 members received power in that area. Please keep in mind that the co-op serves only approximately 6 members per mile of line. This is just one example of the damage crews are dealing with and how long it can take to make the needed repairs. In the most devastated areas, crews are having to completely rebuild portions of line.
WFEC currently has the most linemen ever used for hurricane restoration by any co-op in the state of Florida. Early estimates are that this rebuild and restoration of our electric distribution system will cost WFEC $30-$35 million.
We’d like to remind our members to stay away from downed lines – never touch or drive over one. Also, when using back-up generators, follow all manufacturer’s safety instructions. Thank you for your continued prayers and support.