|San Jacinto News-Times - Local News
Stories Added - September 2008
Copyright 2008 - Polk County Publishing Company
Power restored to county
San Jacinto News- Times - September 2008
COLDSPRING – Electrical power to all residents in San Jacinto County served by Sam Houston Electric Cooperative (SHECO) had been restored as of Tuesday, Sept. 23, following Hurricane Ike. Ike stormed through the county Saturday, Sept. 13, leaving 10,343 SHECO customers without power. Some Shepherd residents, who are served by Entergy, are reportedly still without power. SHECO serves power to 10 counties, including San Jacinto County. In those 10 counties, a total of 64,000 residents were without power following Ike.
A convoy of nearly 3,000 crews moved into SHECO’s distribution area to help rebuild the system. Line technicians, right-of-way crews and chainsaw teams started clearing lines, rebuilding broken power poles, and repairing damaged substations. Areas still not completely up include Hardin, Liberty and Polk counties. “How I do appreciate the electric cooperatives’ efforts in the recovery from Hurricane Ike,” said State Representative Jim McReynolds. “I know we have miles to go before we sleep; however, I have full assurance that our electric cooperatives will continue to work night and day until all meters are back online for their customers.” The Entergy Texas transmission grid, which delivers electricity to SHECO’s distribution system, was severely damaged as well. The Co-op continues to work alongside Entergy through the restoration process, and as repairs are made on both systems, areas in SHECO’s service territory are being re-energized.
“Tent cities” in Coldspring, Tarkington and Woodville, as well as Camp Cho-Yeh and Lake Tomahawk, are providing a temporary home for the crews who have traveled hundreds of miles to help restore power in East Texas. Each location is a small city within itself, providing lodging, fuel and a hot meal. It is a temporary repayment for the dedication and commitment crews have shown to Sam Houston Electric Cooperative’s members. Taking care of nearly 3000 hardworking crewmembers is no easy task. Support efforts take place 24 hours a day to keep crews in the fi eld. Preparing meals, laundry, fueling and repairing trucks, procuring and receiving supplies never stops. “Our entire team has been tremendous in sustaining this effort around the clock to repair damage and restore equipment,” said Kyle Kuntz, SHECO’s General Manager and CEO.
“Our thanks go to all the cooperatives and utilities around the country, who have sent workers to help out, and we appreciate our members’ patience as we work to restore power to our system,” Kuntz said. Governor Rick Perry paid a visit to Sam Houston Electric Cooperative to show his appreciation for the long hours and hard work being put in.