The Okanogan County Electric Cooperative could be spending as much as a million dollars to repair damage from two major fires and a windstorm in the Methow Valley this summer. Approximately 143 poles, 7 miles of electric line, 92 services to homes and irrigation units, and 2 miles of fiber optic line used for internet access had to be fixed or replaced. To make that happen as quickly as possible, electric cooperatives and PUDs from Nespelem, Chelan, Spokane and Umatilla, Oregon generously loaned crews to help. While we are very thankful for that help, we still have to pay for it.
OCEC will do everything it can to cover these unexpected costs without asking members to pay more. Higher rates are the last thing the community needs as it rebuilds. There is no guarantee we can do it without members’ help, but we will try.
We expect federal, and possibly state, financial assistance to be available to help cover these unexpected costs and we are working now to secure that funding.
It may be October or later before we know, completely, where we stand with total emergency repair costs and assistance. From there we can find a way to cover remaining costs with as little impact to members as possible.
Our thoughts are with the many members who suffered loss or damage from the fires and wind.
OCEC serves the upper Methow Valley including Mazama, Winthrop, and some areas surrounding Twisp.
For more information, please contact our office at 509.996.2228.