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MonPower assists in Louisiana’s restoration efforts

Published: Sep. 7, 2021 at 5:20 PM EDT
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FAIRMONT, W.Va (WDTV) - More than a week after Hurricane Ida, hundreds of thousands of people remain without power.

Now, a local utility provider is offering helping hand.

MonPower sent a crew of line workers to Louisiana to help with restoration efforts, including about 2 dozen from west Virginia.

“Of the 500 line workers we have down in this area about 25 of them are in the West Virginia service area, ” said Siburkis.

Lauren Siburkis, who’s there on the ground, says more than a million customers were without power in Louisiana alone.

“Workers are working in neighborhoods when people return to their homes for the first time to see that they’ve lost just about everything,” said Siburkis. “It’s difficult for us because we have families of our own and it’s hard not to empathize...seeing what they’re going through.”

Despite the damage, Siburkis says not one resident has asked when their power will be restored. In fact, they’ve been helping crews as they work.

“We’ve run into many different residents who have been without power for over a week now and they’re buying pizzas for our line crews and they’re bringing out cold water so the support and appreciation from these folks is definitely overwhelming.”

Monpower is a member of a mutual-aid group that works together to restore service to customers when a natural disaster causes large-scale power outages.

“Just as utilities across the nation come to our service area when bad weather hits us, we’re also able to drive out of state to help our peer utilities restore power to their customers so it’s really a joint effort in the electric industry and everybody’s always looking after one another,” said Siburkis.

Siburkis says there is still a lot of damage to the area and expects crews to continue helping for the next few weeks.

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