OTEC Crew During Ice Storm-2.JPG

Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative lineman foreman Dan Patton assists Consumers Power Inc. in Western Oregon after the Philomath-based utility on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021, asked for help with restoring power because severe winter weather caused multiple outages.

BAKER CITY — Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative’s four-man crew is working to help fellow utilities restore power in Western Oregon.

Communities in the Willamette Valley and beyond in Western Oregon have been power after severe winter weather swept through the area. OTEC in a press release reported fellow electric cooperative Consumers Power Inc., based in Philomath, sent out a call for assistance on Saturday, Feb., 13 after ice and snowstorms caused significant damage to infrastructure throughout its territory, which extends from the coast to the Cascades.

OTEC answered the call for help as part of a mutual aid agreement through the Oregon Cooperative Network, the press release stated. OTEC in 2020 sent a crew to assist Consumers Power during the destructive Labor Day fires.

“The cooperative spirit is alive and well,” said Mike Pommarane, OTEC’s Director of Operations, said in the press release.

“We take great pride in our electric cooperative family and are always willing to be able to help fellow members in need,” he stated.

The top priority of each local Oregon cooperative, including OTEC, is service to its own member-owners and the safety of the communities they serve. Since OTEC has available resources and manpower, it made the decision to send a crew into the storm to help.

“OTEC member-owners can rest assured that if we found ourselves in a similar emergency situation,” Pommarane said, “co-ops from across Oregon would be at our doorstep in a moment’s notice to help us.”

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