Co-op electricians bring power back to Minot, ND, park

“You forget about it when you don’t hear about it. And then you see it. Oh jeez, these people really got hit hard.”

Minot, ND flood damage

Debris continues to pile up for crews to remove almost one year after the Mouse River flood of 2011. Photo taken May 30, 2012.

Minot, ND flood damage

A Minot home damaged in Mouse River flood. Photo taken May 30, 2012.

The quote above was Josh Chilcote’s reaction after driving through Minot, ND, on the way to a new job site May 30. Chilcote is an electrician with Roughrider Electric Cooperative, a Basin Electric Class C member with headquarters in Hazen.

The new job site was Oak Park, one of the parks devastated by the Mouse River flood in Minot last summer. (The Mouse River is also known as the Souris River.) More than 4,100 homes in Minot were damaged in that flood, and Oak Park was inundated with about 10 feet of water.

The Minot Park District made it a goal to revitalize Oak Park before the anniversary of the flood, which will be June 22. When Verendrye Electric Cooperative, a Basin Electric Class C member headquartered in Velva, responded to the call to do the rewiring, they knew they’d need help. Bruce Carlson, Verendrye Electric’s general manager, made some calls.

On the morning of March 30, about 60 employees representing 11 electric cooperatives and the North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives showed up for the job.

Co-op electricians power Oak Park

Stan Pierson, with the Rugby crew of Northern Electric, and Wade Haman, Nodak Electric lineman, work on a power pole in Oak Park.

One of the electricians was Josh Chilcote. He says he was happy to volunteer, and happy he was one of the lucky ones to be able to travel to Minot. Watch the video to hear Chilcote talk about the day.

In the news:

Minot Daily News: Electric co-ops statewide help rewire Oak Park
KXMC-TV (CBS affiliate): Powering up Oak Park
KMOT-TV (NBC affiliate): Powering Oak Park

Also, watch for a video here in the coming weeks to hear from some of the Basin Electric employees who helped out.

Co-op electricians power Oak Park

Dale Howard, Antelope Valley Station electrician I (standing), and Jeff Hanson, Leland Olds Station instrument I, replace one of 59 electrical pedestals that were damaged in Oak Park.

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