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Editorial: WMU’s relief help is Willmar leadership

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West Central Tribune readers Friday read about the efforts of Willmar Municipal Utilities and two of its linemen to assist in the electrical power recovery efforts on the East Coast.

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 The two WMU employees — lineman Casey Jenny and crew chief Dick Thynes — volunteered to join more than 7,000 linemen from across the United States and Canada in the New York relief efforts following Hurricane Sandy.

 This is a moment to be proud of Willmar Municipal Utilities and our community.

 The two WMU linemen left on Nov. 2 driving a bucket truck to Rochester to join 21 other linemen and 11 trucks from nine other Minnesota utilities. Together the group drove two days to Long Island, New York, and joined the relief effort.

 The group worked for the Long Island Power Authority from Nov. 4 through 14. Much of the work was removing broken poles and replacing them, along with other needed electrical work.

 The linemen of the group worked 18-hour days in disaster conditions. Sometimes they had to sleep in their trucks.

 This was not easy duty.

 Thank you to Jenny and Thynes for volunteering for this tough work assignment.

 The WMU’s management should be commended for making Willmar’s assistance happen. And the Minnesota Municipal Utilities Association deserves credit for coordinating our state’s relief assistance. Both are examples of good leadership in action.

 The Long Island Power Authority will be billed and will pay for all the costs for the 10 Minnesota utilities that helped out this New York community.

 Willmar’s proud to have assisted in Sandy relief efforts.

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