Co-Mo Electric Cooperative linemen spent five long, cold days in late February and early March repairing damage caused by snowstorm Rocky; in April, two of them were in a classroom sharing their experiences with some local children.
The Blackwater Elementary School third-grade class of Becca Warren sent letters to the Co-Mo linemen in the wake of the storm that knocked out power to more than 17,000 Co-Mo members — including all of their families. Their comments and questions ranged from the pertinent — "Did you guys put power back on to your houses first?" to the comical — "Thanks again for restoring our power because if you didn't then I STILL would not have showered."
Instead of simply writing back letters to the students, Co-Mo decided to send a few of its own to answer the questions personally. Chris Broyles and Shawn McDonald accompanied Safety Coordinator Jimmy Jester and Communications Manager John Agliata to the school April 4 and spent about an hour answering questions — "No, linemen don't put power back to their homes first. In fact, some of our families were among the last back on" — and imparting safety messages — "If you ever see a downed power line, stay away from it and assume that it's live."
The linemen showed the students some of the tools of the trade, including rubber sleeves and a lineman's tool belt. After that, the class went outside to see a lineman's truck and get a look at how high a bucket can extend into the sky.
"The kids were great. This was probably one of the best days I've ever had at work," McDonald said.
Warren said she appreciated the time the cooperative took to visit her students.
"This storm really impacted every child in my classroom," she said. "It's something they were very interested in learning more about, and having the cooperative come out and visit them personally is something they'll remember for a long time."
ABOUT CO-MO ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE - Co-Mo's service area comprises approximately 2,300 square miles in Central Missouri. Co-Mo exists to fulfill its members' needs for superior electric and related services at fair and reasonable prices and support itscommunities through economic, civic and educational opportunities.