Lineworker crews with Rolla Municipal Utilities are on their way to Louisiana, responding to the call for recovery help in the wake of Hurricane Laura.

Organized by the Missouri Public Utility Alliance (MPUA), additional lineworker crews from Nixa and Rolla are on their way to Alexandria, Louisiana to assist in recovery from power outages.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, crews from the hometown utilities in Hannibal, Harrisonville, Higginsville and Macon travelled to Alexandria to prepare for anticipated damage to the city’s electric system. The combined response now numbers 24 lineworkers from the six utilities.

“Our hometown utility professionals are eager to help in emergencies like this,” said MPUA mutual aid coordinator Mike Conyers. “Working together as communities and states to help our neighbors is fundamental to how our crews work.” 

MPUA organized the network response from member utilities after preparedness coordinators at Alexandria called for mutual aid assistance from public power utilities. 

The responding crews are from “public power” electric utilities, not-for-profit community-owned electric utilities that serve their individual hometowns, but also have agreements in place allowing staff to assist neighboring communities and states during widespread outages in other communities. Hometown utility workers in other states are also on the road to Louisiana locations to assist in hurricane recovery efforts.

The mutual aid response is coordinated through MPUA’s mutual aid network of 84 utilities. Assisting hometown utilities are reimbursed by the communities receiving assistance. Nationally, mutual aid agreements like MPUA’s are linked through the American Public Power Association to more than 2,000 public power and rural electric cooperatives, so they can help each other in times of need.