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Minn. rural electric cooperatives assist Florida recovery

LITCHFIELD — Rural electric cooperatives in the region are sending help to restore power in storm-damaged areas of Florida.

Two linemen from Meeker Cooperative Light and Power Association, Pete Wyffels and Logan Josephson, met up Sunday in Albert Lea with linemen from five other electric cooperatives, according to a news release from Meeker Cooperative.

The linemen and rigs from Meeker Cooperative, Minnesota Valley Electric Co-op (of Jordan), Lake Region Co-op, McLeod Co-op Power, Stearns Electric Association, and Todd Wadena Electric Cooperative are helping the Suwannee Valley Electric Cooperative located at Live Oak, Florida. The Florida cooperative serves an area along the Georgia border in the north-central area of the state.

The Kandiyohi Power Cooperative has also offered to provide assistance in the wake of Hurricane Irma. Scott Froemming, CEO, said the cooperative is working with the Minnesota Rural Electric Association on providing assistance. The state organization is coordinating the response by Minnesota cooperatives.

When reached Monday morning, Froemming said the local cooperative was waiting for word on where help would be needed.

Crews are expected to be gone up to two weeks, according to information from Meeker Cooperative. The Suwannee Valley Electric Cooperative has requested 23 crews from outside their territory to aid in restoration efforts.

Meeker Cooperative Light and Power Association serves 7,500 members in Meeker County and parts of Wright, McLeod, Stearns, Kandiyohi and Renville counties.

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

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