Retired Co-Op GM Refelcts on June 29th Storms

by WHIZ Reporter on September 5, 2012 at 5:34 am

The retired General Manager of the Guernsey-Muskingum Electric Cooperative said his company learned a lot after the severe storms ripped through the region in June.

Gary Mbide spoke to members of the Zanesville Noon Rotary Club Today.

He said broken tree limbs and gusty winds caused the most problems during the storms.

"80% of our system was out," said Mbide.  "There was widespread damage, you could drive down a road where everything would look fine and go around the corner, and it would look like a bomb went off"

Mbide said customers were without electricity for as long as 9 days and that the June 29th storms were worse than Hurricane Ike that hit back in 2008.

He said as a result of the storms, the co-op is better prepared for severe weather in the future.

"We have plans, and every time you go through a battle, you tweak those plans, so we had a few tweaks to do on this one, but it came though very well," Mbide added.  "I’m very proud of all the efforts that our employees put through, to make it so they responded to a record storm in record fashion."

Mbide also spoke to Rotarians about his recent trip to Uganda and efforts to start electric co-ops in Africa.