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Cost of Storm Upwards of $10 Million For Small Douglas County Utility

Douglas Electric Co-op
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It’s been just about a month since southwest Oregon was hit with a historic snowfall that put thousands of people in the dark for many days. was hit especially hard.

douglascounty.jpg
Credit Douglas Electric Co-op
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Todd Munsey with Douglas Electric says at the peak of the storm, the utility was 100 percent out of business. Its 95 hundred members were without power due to downed lines and poles under more than 2 feet of snow. Munsey says, as of last Friday, the vast majority have their lights back on.

“We haven’t seen anything like this in the 81 year history of the cooperative. And because we serve rural Douglas County, the northern part of which was hit the hardest, it is literally over the river, through the woods, and over the hills to service this territory.”

Munsey says the cost of the storm was upwards of $10 million to the utility. They’re documenting costs to submit to federal and state officials in the next couple of weeks. Munsey says the co-op is eligible for up to 75 percent reimbursement of costs from FEMA. Whatever they can’t recoup could be passed on to ratepayers.

Copyright 2019 KLCC.

Copyright 2019 KLCC

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Rachael McDonald is News Director at KLCC. She’s been with the station for more than 10 years. Previously, she established the Richland, Washington bureau for the Northwest News Network. She also worked as News Director at KAZU in Monterey, California. Rachael has won numerous awards for her reporting.