Sussex, NJ — September 12 —Five linemen from Sussex Rural Electric Cooperative (SREC) headed south this morning to assist in recovery efforts in the wake of Hurricane Irma. The SREC crews left this morning in a bucket truck and a digger truck for the 800 mile trip. On their journey, they will join 51 fellow linemen with three digger trucks and 20 bucket trucks from 13 of the 14 Pennsylvania/New Jersey Cooperatives providing assistance to Jackson EMC in Jefferson, Georgia, the largest electric cooperative in the state.
“Mutual Aid agreements are a significant and distinctive tool that cooperatives employ to offer assistance to each other,” says Chris Reese, SREC President and CEO. "SREC is proud of the willingness and effort demonstrated by our employees that stepped up to assist our co-op friends in the South.”
Chuck Pike, SREC Director of Engineering & Operations stated the linemen are proud to work the storms “in the same spirit of cooperation that cooperatives from Florida and South Carolina came to our assistance to aid our members in their time of need in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.”
SREC is preparing for the likelihood that, after work is completed at Jackson EMC, the PA/NJ crews could be requested to provide mutual assistance to cooperatives located further south in either Georgia or Florida.
Electric cooperatives, like Sussex Rural Electric, have a unique and effective approach to emergency management and disaster recovery: mutual assistance. Following a disaster, co-ops will rapidly deploy support staff and equipment to emergency and recovery zones to assist other co-ops. Since cooperatives are not-for-profit organizations, they are eligible for financial assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which can fund a major portion of the cost of emergency work to restore power and the cost of repairing, restoring, rebuilding or replacing damaged facilities. This system gives electric cooperatives the ability to respond effectively and quickly in times of crisis and protects the financial interests of the cooperative members at the same time.
Sussex Rural Electric Cooperative is the only Rural Electric Cooperative in the State of New Jersey. SREC is a locally owned and managed electric utility that was incorporated in the State of New Jersey in April of 1937. Under those articles of incorporation Sussex Rural Electric is owned by the members it serves.
Providing reliable electrical service to our members at the lowest possible cost for over 80 years, SREC’s service territory represents over 11,000 members in the northwestern portion of Sussex County, New Jersey and a small portion of Orange County in New York State. SREC also has a fifty year utility service contract with the U.S. Army to provide utility service at Picatinny Arsenal. Sussex Rural Electric Cooperative was recently ranked as one of the top Cooperatives in the United States of America with an American Customer Satisfaction Index score of 95.