Desoto County News

Northcentral sends help to Louisiana cooperative

Eight crew members from Northcentral Electric Cooperative, based in Olive Branch, have left to help Louisiana restoration efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura.

Northcentral officials said the group is assisting the Beauregard Electric Cooperative, based in DeRidder, Louisiana.  The cooperative had significant damage in its service area of about 43,000 members and about 5,700 miles of line will need to be reconstructed. 

It is estimated that it will take about 4-5 weeks to rebuild the system, which is in a rural part of the state north of Lake Charles, Louisiana.  

“I know the area well, and South Louisianans are very resilient people,” said Northcentral CEO/General Manager Kevin Doddridge. “I trust that our folks will work safely to help them recover from Hurricane Laura.”

Eight crew members from Northcentral Electric Cooperative are in Louisiana assisting a cooperative near DeRidder restore power in the area decimated by Hurricane Laura. (Northcentral Electric Cooperative Facebook photo)

Mississippi electric cooperatives began talking about mutual aid for Louisiana last week. Some coops in Louisiana lost 100 percent of their electric system as a result of the hurricane with the hardest hit area being very rural.

The rural location also makes it difficult to house and feed outside workers who come to help.  

The two state associations representing electric cooperatives in Mississippi and Louisiana have coordinated their efforts and started to mobilize when outside help was able to come in to assist.  

“Tent cities” have been set up to house workers, with capacity restrictions in mind due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These temporary housing areas had to be outfitted with special air scrubbers and additional hand washing and sanitizing stations to keep our folks safe.

Bob Bakken

Bob Bakken is the most recognized and most trusted name in DeSoto County news and sports reporting, as readers continue to express their appreciation for his accuracy and fairness in the stories he writes. Bob is also heard on 95.3 The Rebel twice a week with sports updates and high school football play-by-play broadcasts in the fall. A former newspaper editor and writer, his award-winning background also includes television news producing, sports media relations, and radio broadcasting.

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