Baldwin EMC will be sending 10 employees to assist Beauregard Electric Cooperative (BECi) in DeRidder, La., in power restoration efforts following the landfall of Hurricane Laura. The crews will depart from the co-op’s Summerdale headquarters at 9 a.m. on Friday, August 28, and will include employees from the operations and transportation departments.
Baldwin EMC began preparing for departure following a request earlier in the week. With the storm making landfall in Louisiana as a Category 4 hurricane, the crews have packed food, water and other necessary items to help sustain them. Along with their standard supplies, they have also included the proper personal protective equipment to work safely during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“As everyone who lives in our region knows, with hurricanes it’s never a matter of ‘if’ but of ‘when,’”says Baldwin EMC CEO Karen Moore. “Just a few days ago, it looked as though this storm was headed directly toward our own coastline. We were lucky this time, but the day will come when we may need help from our sister cooperatives in the wake of a major storm. In the meantime, we are always glad for the opportunity to send crews and share our resources with other cooperatives in need of assistance, and we’re grateful to be a part of a community of mutual aid.”
BECi provides service to more than 40,000 electric accounts in southwestern Louisiana. The cooperative’s headquarters are in DeRidder, with branch offices in Lake Charles and Leesville.
Baldwin EMC is part of a nationwide network of electric cooperatives that assist each other in times of natural disasters. Baldwin EMC has provided assistance numerous times to other cooperatives across the southeast following hurricanes, tornadoes and ice storms.