Hurricane Delta Left 41,000 Without Power, But DEMCO Has Now Fully Restored Service

DEMCO has now completed restoration from damage incurred by Hurricane Delta. On Saturday Oct. 10, DEMCO had 41,688 meters without power, 200 broken poles, and more than 500 primary lines that were broken or on the ground.

  “Restoration of this magnitude requires everyone to work together: to coordinate and communicate from moment to moment, day to day, and team to team,” said Randy Pierce, DEMCO CEO and general manager. “It is always a proud moment when that last meter is powered up, and it is always the result of successful teamwork.” 

DEMCO field crews of about 150 were supplemented with a 150-man workforce of contractors and co-op mutual-aid crews, who worked around the clock to repair storm damage. Additional staff worked behind the scenes 24-hour days to coordinate materials, machinery, crew schedules, food and lodging.

“With over 8,700 miles of line across a seven-parish service territory powering 112,000+ meters, our first step was to clear rights-of-way, and deliver equipment and supplies to all seven-parish service areas,” Mark Phillips, DEMCO operations director, said.

Parish personnel also contributed to the manpower, sending crews to clear all areas that had debris blocking roadways, which opened access for DEMCO to assess damage on roads off of main highways – roads that were impassable until that occurred.

  “We are very grateful to all the parish workers who were instrumental in this restoration,” Phillips said. “After a storm of this magnitude, it is critical that roadways are cleared in order for us to get off-road equipment, such as diggers and bucket trucks into areas to make repairs to system components.”

  Hurricane Delta was one of the worst weather events to impact the DEMCO system since Hurricane Gustav and the Flood of 2016. It marks the 5th storm during the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season to impact Louisiana after Cristobal, Marco, Laura, and Sally.

  “I’d like to thank our members for their words of encouragement and prayers as well as their acts of kindness this past week,” Pierce said.  “We love what we do. We train hard to do it well, and we love doing it in service to our members,” said Pierce.

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