Restoration crews from co-ops and utility construction contractors from all over the United States continue to assist the crews of Jasper-Newton Electric Cooperative (JNEC), Kirbyville, Texas, to restore power in the aftermath of Hurricane Rita.
This morning we had approximately 150 line workers from Pike leave to return to their home base in Florida as they start preparations for Hurricane Wilma. We still have over 625 workers and are in the process of building back to over 700 as we strive to get service back on for the remainder of our members.
We have restored power to approximately 71% of JNEC’s meters. Angelina County is nearly completed with 99.8% of meters on. Jasper County is at 77% and Newton County is at 59% of meters on.
All of JNEC’s substations, 100% of our transmission lines and 95% of our main feeder lines are now energized. We are trying to restore power to our members as soon as possible and will continue turning on individual circuits as they are repaired.
JNEC serves mostly the rural areas of Newton County. Deweyville in southern Newton County and surrounding communities in northern Orange County have a higher density of members than the rural areas and were some the hardest hit by Hurricane Rita. Restoration in these areas will be tedious and time consuming, as we have to virtually rebuild our entire electric line network in this location.
Estimates of when power will be restored to any specific areas cannot be determined at this time.
We want to thank the 20 sister electric cooperatives and 30 contractors who are working to rebuild 3,000 miles of power lines and over 5,000 utility poles destroyed by Hurricane Rita.
We also want to thank our members for their patience and understanding during this difficult time.