Helping out after Hurricane Delta

Oct 14, 2020

Lending a hand in Louisiana … A GRDA lineman climbs an electric distribution pole in Lafayette, Louisiana, to make repairs following damage left by Hurricane Delta. A crew of 15 GRDA employees traveled to Louisiana on October 9 to provide assistance, as part of a nationwide public power mutual aid program.

Power for Progress… a weekly column from the Grand River Dam Authority.

As another hurricane was hitting the Gulf Coast last week, the Grand River Dam Authority was once again gearing up to provide mutual aid, equipment and expertise.

On Friday, October 9, a crew of 15 GRDA employees left before dawn to travel to Louisiana as part of a nationwide American Public Power Association (APPA) mutual aid effort. The GRDA crew spent the night just outside the storm zone and then moved in to begin the work of power restoration after Hurricane Delta moved through on Saturday.

Although Oklahoma is far from the hurricane zones, GRDA has provided plenty of assistance over the years to help rebuild what Mother Nature takes apart. Following storms such as Rita, Irma, Matthew and Harvey, GRDA linemen and police officers have responded to Florida, North Carolina, Louisiana and Texas to help put power lines back in the air or assist with water rescue efforts.

This time our linemen were working with Lafayette Utilities Systems (LUS) in Lafayette, Louisiana. Like GRDA, LUS is a public power utility and part of the national mutual aid network. Over the weekend following the storm damage, GRDA crews helped LUS restore power to thousands of area residents.

When GRDA personnel move in to assist with storm restoration, they take a wealth of knowledge with them. Here in Oklahoma, that knowledge has been gained by restoration efforts following ice storms, tornados, microbursts and even wildfires in recent years. At the same time, those events have helped our team to hone its skills while working together safely and quickly to get the job done, time and time again.

Although public power utilities are located all across the country, when it comes time to assist in restoration efforts, it’s a “neighbors helping neighbors” effort. GRDA is proud to be a part of this mutual aid effort to get the lights back on.

GRDA is Oklahoma’s public power utility; fully funded by revenues from electric and water sales instead of taxes. Each day, GRDA strives to be an “Oklahoma agency of excellence” by focusing on the 5 E’s: electricity, economic development, environmental stewardship, employees and efficiency.