September Manager's Message
Dedicated and caring employees are the most important asset of any successful business, and your Renville-Sibley Cooperative is filled with employees who care about you, the member.
When the strong tornado-like winds and severe thunderstorms hit the Renville-Sibley system crosswise on the late afternoon of Friday, July 1st, all your employees had just completed a long and hot week of work. When the storm hit at about 5:00 p.m. that evening, several employees we’re “heading to the lake” or other destinations for a well-earned long weekend get-away with family and friends.
After learning of the devastation that had occurred in Renville County and surrounding areas and that the majority of the Renville-Sibley’s membership were without electricity, they all came back to help. Some returned on their own and allowed their families and friends to continue on without them, while others returned with their families and canceled their plans all together.
Even those who were still at home during the storm came to the aide of the members as quickly as they could. Most employees suffered their own property losses with damage to their homes, yards and buildings. Almost every employee had multiple tree branches, limbs and even whole trees to clean up or buildings to repair. And every employee’s home was without power, just like most of you. They all placed their own dilemma on hold in order to first respond to the needs of the membership.
In less than 2 hours, Renville-Sibley was at full strength, all employees were engaged and working hard to restore power to the membership as quickly as possible. For the most part, over the next 72 hours that was accomplished. With aide from one neighboring cooperative and line personnel from a local line contractor, well over 2,300 man-hours were expended within the three-day 4th of July holiday weekend to restore power to nearly 1,600 Renville-Sibley members. Not a single lineman was injured. Not even one band aid was required by the now greatly expanded workforce who worked long hours in grueling conditions.
With nearly 60 linemen working over the holiday weekend on the downed and damaged distribution system as well as the transmission and substation infrastructe, coordination of manpower was critical. Office personnel and your staff also worked long, stressful hours. Organization was critical to make sure the sites worked on first would be those areas that would restore power to as many members as possible. And, that this restoration effort continued to be a safe one, one that could be accomplished without any lost-time accidents to line personnel, injury to the general public or to cause further damage to the power delivery system.
Your employees are an amazing group of people who not only practice but truly live the rural cooperative culture. They are all unselfish and caring individuals that work hard to make sure your environment remains comfortable and that all the electrical equipment and conveniences you have are available for you to use when you need them. They work hard every day to maintain the distribution system in a fashion that minimizes the impacts severe storms like this can have on the reliability we all have grown to expect.
If you get a chance, thank your employees for again, going well beyond the call of duty for the membership.