Prairie Energy linemen deploy for Hurricane Irma

Tanner Riedesel, left, and Scott Muhlenbruch preparing to head out. Photo submitted

On Sunday, Hurricane Irma hit the coast of Florida. The storm had already killed dozens of people in the Caribbean islands and struck the US as a category 4 storm. Florida suffered damage from heavy rainfall and falling trees, and the damage continued north into Georgia. As of Tuesday morning, Irma is angling northwest into the states and dissipating as a “tropical depression,” still expected to be active Wednesday.

On Sunday, Prairie Energy Cooperative, based in Clarion, sent two of their power line workers to Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, to mobilize with other state energy workers to head down to help bring power back. Tanner Riedesel and Scott Muhlenbruch will be helping in the Kingsland, Georgia area, and are expected to be working for two weeks to repair the damage.

Ken “Butch” Norem, director of operations/engineering at Prairie Energy, said that seven or eight of the company’s linemen had volunteered to go, but the Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives, who organized the state’s group of electric relief workers, had only requested two from Prairie Energy.

“The guys are always willing to head out on those state jobs and help the coops,” Norem said.


For the full story, see the September 14 edition of the Monitor.