A friend from a co-op in Louisiana recently shared this story of heroism. 

As a line crew from Kentucky prepared to move on after restoring power to a section of line destroyed by Hurricane Ida, a frantic mother alerted a foreman that a young child was lost. The foreman immediately directed his men to check under their trucks and look around the area. They saw nothing. 

One worker asked to borrow the foreman’s binoculars. Amidst a drenching rain, he lifted his bucket truck above the trees. He did a 360-degree sweep, but saw no sign of the child. 

He moved his truck 100 yards down the road and went up again. He wiped off the binoculars and noticed two small ponds. His heart sank, but he kept looking. At that moment, the rain stopped and a brilliant rainbow appeared. In the middle of that rainbow, he spotted the missing child, safe and sound. 

The child saw the worker and moved toward him. It was a happy ending to a scary story.

For those who work at your local utilities, these rainbow moments are not uncommon. Utility employees often are thrust into the middle of life-or-death situations. Giving back to their communities is not just part of the job, it is in their DNA. You see, the utility employees are not strangers from a distant corporation. They are your friends, neighbors and family members. When you hurt, they hurt. 

In October, co-ops and public power entities celebrate National Cooperative Month and Public Power Week. I encourage you to reflect on all the good things brought to us thanks to the visionaries who kicked off the public power movement decades ago.

And the next time you spot a rainbow, don’t be surprised if you find one of your local utility employees nearby.

Mike Teegarden