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Kilowatt F APRIL 2013 INSIDE YOUR CO-OP


A Touchstone Energy Cooperative


Kiwash Electric


Cooperative, Inc. Providing the service


that lights up your life.


Office Location PO Box 100


120 W. 1st Street


Cordell, Oklahoma (888) 832-3362


www.kiwash.coop


Find us on Facebook Staff


Dennis Krueger manager


Wendy Putman director of finance


Lisa Willard director of


communications Roy Dewees


director of operations


Board of Trustees officers


Jack Sawatzky president


Robert Travis vice president


Virginia Walker sec.-treasurer


John Schaufele


asst. sec.-treasurer directors


Ralph Cunningham Leslie Hinds Rex Eagan


Blizzard Can't Freeze Facebook Social media keeps members connected during snowstorm


battery backup) the lines of communication stayed open. By using email and Facebook to communicate with Kiwash Electric, many of our members were able bypass busy phone lines to report power outages, receive outage updates, and basically 'stay in the loop' until the weather cleared and power was restored.


W


Throughout the situation our members exhibited graciousness and understanding toward one another and our crews. This is evident from the many comments on our Facebook page. Some members even passed along concerns about elderly neighbors and others trapped by the storm, so that our crews would know to check on them. We want you to know how much we appreciate these alerts, and thank you all for your kindness and cooperation


It was quite a snowstorm! The wet, heavy snow coupled with 50 mph winds caused lines to "gallop" together, snapping them in many places throughout our service area. At one time, over 3,000 members were without power.


Since 2001, Kiwash Electric has upgraded over 700 miles of poles and wires. Decreasing the span between poles from 500 feet to 260 feet serves to "harden" lines, making


hat a sign of the times: The late winter snowstorm on February 25 left 75 percent of Kiwash Electric members in the dark, but thanks to Facebook (and


them more resistant to ice damage. Because of these improvements, fewer poles were damaged in the recent storm; however the high winds did buck wires together, break insulators, and burn wires in half.


High drifts and true 'white out' conditions created extremely difficult working conditions for our crews, which hindered our repair time. Our thanks goes out to public bodies and contractors such as Kauk Construction; Merkey Dozer; Custer and Washita County Emergency Managers; Washita, Custer and Dewey County Commissioners; City of Clinton; and a host of farmers and ranchers who worked with us to pull our trucks through impassable roads and even open the roads for our crews.


At the height of the storm, one Kiwash lineman found himself trapped in his truck after getting stuck in snow drifts along an isolated highway. County emergency crews attempted rescue him, but they got stuck, too. Fortunately, our lineman had enough fuel to safely weather the storm in his vehicle until crews could reach him the next morning. It was that kind of storm.


A co-op lineman works to restore service following the February 25 blizzard. PHOTO/LISA WILLARD.


With that in mind, we also want to acknowledge the great repair work offered by Caddo Electric Cooperative; Southwest Rural Electric Association; Calvary Construction; Davis Construction; and our own Kiwash Electric crews. The work was hard and the hours were long—thank you!


By Dennis Krueger general manager


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