Manager’s Message — October 2020
Beacon of Light
Dear Co-op Community Members:
At Lane Electric, our hearts are heavy. This year has presented many challenges, beginning with COVID-19 in March, that brought significant change to our daily lives. As we wrapped up a beautiful Labor Day weekend, devastating wildfires spread through our small and beautiful McKenzie River communities.
Our hearts are with you during this significant loss to your homes, businesses, and the true beauty of this area.
While the damage is great and healing will take time, we have a beacon of light. Lane Electric has begun repairs in areas where it is safe to do so.
There was significant damage to our electrical system and the Bonneville Power Administration’s transmission system. BPA has transmission lines out of service due to wind and wildfire. Lane Electric’s system sustained damage from the powerful windstorm that swept through the area. Other parts of the system continue to sustain damage from the Holiday Farm Fire.
At the east end of the McKenzie River electrical system, we were able to replace nearly 40 poles and provide repairs up to McKenzie School. Lane Electric brought in a 2-megawatt generator to power up the substation and return light to those homes.
While we are excited and thankful to restore service to this area, there is a lot of work ahead to rebuild our electrical system.
We have just begun to repair the damage. Service to all will take time and careful planning. At the time of this letter, damage continues to our system as the fire still smolders. When we know it is safe to return to those areas, we will assess the damage and create a plan to rebuild the electrical system.
We know Lane Electric is a small part of rebuilding these beautiful communities. The McKenzie River communities are strong, and we look forward to rebuilding with you. We are excited to again visit your restaurants and businesses, and provide service to your homes.
I have profound sorrow for your losses, and my heart—as well as those of all Lane Electric employees and the board of directors—are with you.