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Hurricane Ida left a trail of damage and destruction along the Gulf Coast following its landfall Aug. 29 and many Missourians are doing their part to assist in the aftermath.
In response, Missouri’s electric cooperatives have mobilized to answer a call for help. At the request of DEMCO Electric Cooperative, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, more than 150 Missouri lineworkers from 30 of the state’s electric cooperatives are traveling to Louisiana to assist in the cleanup.
Missouri is sending both construction and service crews to help with the power restoration efforts at the co-op just east of Baton Rouge. Most of Missouri’s crews left early Tuesday morning, Aug. 31, to help with the restoration efforts.
DEMCO is the largest electric cooperative in Louisiana, serving more than 112,000 members. As of Aug. 30, more than 77,000 DEMCO members, 68 percent, were without electricity.
Missouri’s electric cooperatives have a long history of lending a helping hand to its cooperative peers in trying times. Missouri crews first helped with hurricane relief efforts in 2004 when the Gulf Coast was hit by Hurricane Ivan and have been doing so since. Their most recent deployments were in 2020 when crews traveled to Louisiana twice for hurricanes Delta and Zeta.
The favor has been returned, as Missouri co-ops received assistance restoring power following devastating ice storms in 2007 and 2009.
Missouri’s restoration efforts are being spearheaded by the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives. The Jefferson City-based association represents all 47 of Missouri’s electric cooperatives.
On Tuesday, Aug. 31, Gov. Mike Parson announced that he has mobilized the Missouri National Guard to assist in post-Hurricane Ida recovery efforts in Louisiana.
In support of the relief effort, the Missouri National Guard will alert, mobilize and deploy approximately 300 soldiers to assist.
“As our fellow states never fail to come to our aid in times of need, we are proud to answer this call to provide relief to our friends in Louisiana,” Gov. Parson said. “Americans helping Americans and neighbor helping neighbor is what keeps our nation strong. Our professionals in the Missouri National Guard are the best of the best and have the resources, skills, and training necessary to help Louisiana recover and come back stronger than ever.
“Teresa and I are praying for the state of Louisiana and all her people as they begin to recover from Hurricane Ida’s devastation and destruction.”
The State Emergency Management Agency received a request for assistance from the state of Louisiana through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, a mutual aid agreement among states that allows for the sharing of critical resources when needed.
The Missouri National Guard is prepared to provide humanitarian support, equipment, debris removal, and general support assistance. Soldiers from the 110th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade headquartered in Kansas City and the 35th Engineer Brigade headquartered in Fort Leonard Wood are mobilized to assist in the relief efforts.
“The Missouri National Guard is well-trained and equipped to assist in recovery operations and has done similar missions in the past with Hurricanes Katrina and Rita,” said Maj. Gen. Levon Cumpton, Missouri National Guard Adjutant General. “We are proud to assist our teammates in Louisiana in their time of need.”
The Missouri National Guard is scheduled to assist for up to 14 days and will continue to provide support to civil authorities as long as directed.