LES sends equipment, crews for storm relief after Ida

LINCOLN — Lincoln Electric System is deploying staff and vehicles to help utilities in Louisiana with anticipated power restoration efforts due to Hurricane Ida.

Three crews comprised of 14 LES employees are en route to Lafayette, Louisiana, as Hurricane Ida approaches, expected to make landfall as a potential Category 4 storm. In preparation for landfall, utilities in the path are already preparing by prestaging restoration workers and equipment and coordinating preparation and response efforts with their state and local officials.

"Conditions associated with storms of this size have the potential to cause significant damage," said Paul Crist, LES vice president of Energy Delivery. "Outages are expected, and our crews will work diligently to get power restored quickly and safely. Safety is always top of mind, especially in these types of situations."

LES crews deployed as the sun rose on Saturday morning, Aug. 28, and are expected to arrive in Lafayette Sunday.

The American Public Power Association is helping to coordinate assistance efforts in the region. More than 2,000 community-owned electric utilities across the country make up the APPA. As a member of the APPA's mutual aid network, LES is reimbursed for all costs of deploying resources to assist other utilities. 

LES and its workers consistently answer the call — near or far — when fellow utilities face challenges requiring mutual aid assistance. The utility most recently offered a hand restoring power in neighboring Omaha. However, LES crews have consistently contributed to restoration efforts in the Gulf Coast region, including in the wake of Hurricane Michael in 2018.

"We are always balancing the desire to assist other utilities with the need to be prepared for adverse events that may take place at home," Crist said. "Serving our families, neighbors and friends in the Lincoln area remains our priority."

Connect with LES social media to get updates on your local utility's power restoration efforts following Hurricane Ida.