Local Linemen Help to Restore Power in Greenfield

Three linemen from Sioux Center Municipal Utilities traveled to Greenfield, Iowa, to provide mutual aid to help restore power after the town was hit by a devastating tornado Tuesday, May 21.

Troy Kunnari, Lorn Wielenga, and Landon Slechta headed toward Greenfield in the Sioux Center digger derrick truck before the sun was up on Wednesday to help get the power back on in the community of 2,050. They carried with them several wooden electric poles to help replace those snapped by the tornado.

They were joined by other crews when they arrived, to clear a path so they could set new electric poles for power lines to be strung. They will continue to work with the community this week to restore power.

“So many lost everything, and there will be a long process for the community to recover. As linemen, we have the opportunity to help speed up the start of that process by restoring power to as much of town as we can by framing poles, stringing wire and setting transformers,” Kunnari said. “It’s hard to see people lose loved ones and everything they own. However, we were able to see them smile and thank us multiple times for helping. Mutual aid is a neat opportunity for communities to support each other in their time of need.”

As a community-owned utility, Sioux Center has a mutual aid agreement with other municipal power utilities across the state and nation to assist them after natural disasters and other significant events.

“We like to help if we are able in situations like this. We know in an emergency we’d seek others’ help, too. It’s good to be part of this network of municipal utilities,” Sioux Center Municipal Utilities Manager Murray Hulstein said. “Thanks to Troy, Landon, and Lorn for representing us in Greenfield. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and the people there impacted by this storm.”