Coosa Valley Electric Cooperative helping those in need in aftermath of Sandy

Crews from Coosa Valley Electric Cooperative left Sunday headed to Virginia to aid restoration efforts in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

Rappahannock Electric Cooperative, a 155,000-member electric cooperative headquartered in Fredericksburg, VA, reported Tuesday morning that it had more than 15,000 consumers without electricity.

"We have sent 8 men and their equipment to help a fellow cooperative restore service to its members who are out of power," said Leland Fuller, CVEC general manager.{} "We have been in contact with our statewide association since Friday of last week helping coordinate Alabama's response to expected requests."

Statewide a total of 150 workers from most of Alabama's electric cooperatives have been sent to Virginia, Maryland and other states affected by this historic storm.{} In situations like this, the Alabama Rural Electric Association of Cooperatives, headquartered in Montgomery, coordinates response efforts.

"The strength of electric cooperatives is their ability to call on their fellow cooperatives in times of need," Mr. Fuller said. "Each of us has the crews and equipment needed to respond quickly and effectively when disaster strikes. We have received assistance in the past and now it's our turn to help."

Coosa Valley Electric, which serves more than 16,500 consumers in Talladega, St. Clair, Shelby, Clay, Etowah and Calhoun counties, is a Touchstone Energy cooperative. Nationwide, some 1,000 cooperatives provide power to rural America, and more than 700 of those are members of Touchstone Energy.