Independence Power & Light (IPL) linemen returned home to Independence, Missouri, Sunday evening, ending seven weeks of electric utility repair work in storm-damaged areas of Louisiana, according to a report on the Kansas City infoZine.
The infoZine went on to say that after Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana, the American Public Power Association (APPA) and the Missouri Public Utility Alliance (MPUA) began coordinating with public electric utilities to match up requests for assistance with available crews and equipment. Twelve IPL linemen and an IPL superintendent joined several other Missouri electric utility crews Sept. 22 heading to Louisiana to begin work in the cities of Alexandria and Erath, both of which are public power communities. The crews were then sent to Jennings, Louisiana, to work for a division of Entergy.
After two weeks of working 16-hour days, the first group of crews returned to Independence, and another group of 10 linemen and a superintendent traveled to Louisiana to continue the work. Crews were rotated two more times, with several linemen serving two rotations, according to the infoZine.
According to Larry Starr, IPL Transmission and Distribution manager, "The devastation these towns have suffered is hard to even describe. We saw a lot of damage to mobile homes in heavily wooded areas, where there were a lot of pine tree branches that came down. We also saw a lot of homes damaged by water and high winds around Lake Calcasieu, which is near Lake Charles."