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Lakeland Electric & Mutual Aid

Access Lakeland Newsletter | September 2020

When storms damage put communities in crisis, our Lakeland Electric team answers the call. On August 27th, Hurricane Laura made landfall as a damaging Category 4 hurricane in Louisiana. Our mutual aid team was already on its way to provide assistance. The hurricane caused extensive damage and tied with the 1856 Last Island Hurricane as the strongest hurricane to make Louisiana's landfall.

Lakeland Electric’s first stop was in Layfette, Louisiana. Their public power utility, Layfette Utility Systems, was one of the first mutual aid teams to assist Lakeland during our recovery from Hurricane Irma in 2017. So it was with particular satisfaction that our team arrived in Layfette to return the favor to our sister utility.

For two weeks, our mutual aid team assisted communities affected by the storm. They traveled in Louisiana from Layfette to Abbeville, Alexandria, and Winnfield to help restore power. The communities in Louisiana welcomed our crews with open, albeit socially distant, arms. After long days of hot and hazardous work, a hot meal means a lot. Churches and community members opened their doors to serve our team home-cooked meals and their appreciation. One particularly welcome sight was an affectionately dubbed “dessert queen” who treated our employees to delicious homemade treats and made restoring power to these communities even sweeter.

Leaving for a mutual aid assignment means time away from home and family. It usually involves very long days and challenging work. Being part of helping to restore communities in need makes it worth the effort. Access to this national network for mutual aid assistance during storm recovery is just one of the great benefits of being a public power company. Lakeland Electric is proud to provide mutual aid assistance, and we know our fellow public power utilities will also be there to help us when we need them. Please join us in welcoming our mutual aid team safely home. If you see our employees in the field, give them a wave or a smile to say thank you.

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