To the Editor:
I want to sincerely thank all of the WEC employees who helped restore power to our 6,000 members who were without power. Most were restored in a little over two days, with mutual aid assistance from many of our neighboring utilities. It was a very wet, heavy snow with up to 15 inches in some parts of the WEC territory, which covers 1,300 miles of lines.
I know that Co-op is still trying to get the power back on for members that were still out as of Wednesday, but I hope everyone realizes the Co-op’s territory is very rural and extremely hilly and wooded. I was out of town, and my propane wall furnace needs electricity to run, but having checked in with my neighbors, when the power went out, they made sure my wood furnace was fired up and kept an eye on the house. One of my neighbors was kind enough to shovel off my deck, which had close to two feet of snow, with the snow that came off the roof.
One thing I’ve learned over all these 52 years I’ve been on the Co-op lines, is to always have a backup plan when I’m out of town, and have a mutual aid arrangement with my neighbors. One of my neighbors has a generator that goes on automatically and always offers any of us on the road to get water, and even shower if need be. It’s really important for all of us individually to be prepared in the event of a storm with the battery radio, a plug-in wall phone, and flashlights, with gallons of stored water.
Again, thanks to WEC employees and Board.
Barry Bernstein is a former Board member and President of WEC. He submitted this letter after the winter storm of November 27, 2023.