For many years we have recognized and celebrated the month of October as National “Cooperative” Month. This year, it seems only fitting that we celebrate the event after what our community went through last month and how that “Cooperative Spirit” shined.

On behalf of the Board of Directors and all the employees of JOEMC, I want to say thank you. Thank you to each and every one of you, our members, for your patience and understanding during the power restoration efforts after Florence.

The cooperative faced many challenges during and after the storm; communication issues (phone lines down and spotty cellphone coverage); flooding of the cooperatives first floor headquarters building; the daunting task of getting power restored to close to 71,000 meters (or 96% of our system); the loss of transmission power to 14 of our substations; and the massive amount of rainfall that occurred severely limiting our access to roads so power could be restored. Through all of this, we adapted and overcame these obstacles so we could “get the lights back on”.

I would be remise if I didn’t recognize the hard work and dedication of every employee at JOEMC as well as the crews that came in from other parts of the United States. YOUR cooperative employees left their homes, many of which had sustained damage like the thousands in our community, and went to work to restore power. I simply can’t say enough about these folks…they are true professionals, dedicated to this company, dedicated to this community and dedicated to providing the best customer service possible.

I would also be remise if I, again—didn’t recognize you—our members, for your patience, understanding and SUPPORT. The words of encouragement via email, social media, on the phone and in the field (when you saw our crews) was amazing. The many offers of water, ice and food and the kind words motivated our employees even more and made them want to work even harder (than they were).

Employees and members, working together, united with one goal—supporting each other in an effort to restore a little normalcy back to our community—that’s the COOPERATIVE SPIRIT!