Manager’s Message – February 2021
January Wind Storm Relief Possible
On January 13, the inland Northwest experienced a windstorm producing gusts in excess of 70 miles per hour. The damaging winds toppled trees onto power lines and produced outages for more than 75% of the members served by Northern Lights Inc. (NLI). Many roadways were blocked by downed trees and power lines, greatly hampering our restoration efforts.
Fully restoring electric service to those affected by the storm required efforts from all NLI employees and cost more than $1 million. NLI crews worked around the clock to restore power.
NLI is an electric cooperative that operates on a not-for-profit basis and is owned by those it serves. Due to our not-for-profit status, NLI may be eligible for public assistance, as stipulated by the Stafford Act (Public Law 93-288), which created the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). We are working with Idaho and Montana to request FEMA assistance to cover the eligible costs of repairing or replacing the electrical infrastructure damaged by the windstorm.
I would like to personally thank everyone who helped with the restoration efforts. First, thank you to our employees, who worked quickly and safely around the clock with tireless dedication until everyone was back in service, and our contractors who arrived quickly and helped cleared countless downed trees from our lines and make critical repairs in tough conditions. Most of all, thank you to our members for your patience and understanding. We know long outages are frustrating. Your kind words and messages have meant a lot. We are proud to be your Local Electric Cooperative.