An open letter to the 1490

CEO Karen Moore

Before September 16, 2020, you probably didn’t know much, if anything, about Baldwin County, Alabama. You may have vacationed in Gulf Shores or Orange Beach, but for the most part, the rest of our beautiful home was unfamiliar to you.

After Hurricane Sally ravaged our shores, that didn’t really matter anymore. Because you knew there were people here who needed help.

So you packed a bag, kissed your families goodbye and you hit the road, joined by 1,490 of your fellow line workers, coming together to do what you do best.

When you arrived, we handed you the broken pieces of a hard-hit distribution system. That included 2,000 broken power poles, 4,100 spans of line on the ground, more than 1,200 broken cross arms, close to 5,000 trees on lines and more than 78,000 meters without power. In some places, we were pretty much starting over.

The acres of timberland, butting up against scenic watersheds leading to 32 miles of coastline – the very diversity that makes our 1,500-square mile service territory so beautifully unique – meant the job of tackling widespread outages wasn’t for the faint of heart. Not that it ever has been.

Working shoulder to shoulder and following the leadership and direction of Baldwin EMC’s seasoned line crews, piece by piece you help put back together a broken community.

More importantly you showed the residents of Baldwin County that there are lots of people in this world who care about complete strangers.

To those of us for whom you showed up when we needed you most, your work here in our service territory was a remarkable sacrifice that we will never forget. Whether you were clearing trees, rebuilding lines, helping in our warehouse, handing out ice or supporting our communications efforts, you made a difference.

Cooperation among cooperatives is one of the guiding principles that we all live by as co-op employees. But principles don’t clear trees or rebuild lines. People do. Principles won’t do much good without employees willing to say yes. Yes, I’ll go. Yes, I’ll help. Yes, send me.

Thank you for saying yes.

I hope one day, you’ll come back to Baldwin County when she’s restored to all her glory. When you do, I hope you’ll take pride in knowing you played a part in getting her there.

Baldwin County will once again be glad to see you.

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