Learning about our electric co-operative

As part of gaining more insights into Kaufman County, I accepted an invitation from Trinity Valley Electric Cooperative last week to tour the headquarters and meet some of the folks who bring electric power to our rural areas.

Electricity is one of those things you don’t think about until it’s not there, then it becomes really important.

Part of the tour I liked was reading framed front pages of the Kaufman Herald dating back to the late 1930s when the co-operative was bringing power to rural Texas. Can you imagine the work our grandparents and great-grandparents had to do on a Texas farm before the days of electricity? It required incredible amounts of physical labor. 

As a newspaper person, I’m also interested in how and where outages occur, because that’s what affects our readers. The dispatchers showed me an impressive array of screens they monitor, not only looking for outages and potential issues, but where dozens of TVEC trucks and employees are deployed throughout the day, and often into the night . 

In North Texas, outages are caused by tornadoes, falling trees and limbs, and ice storms. They showed me the paths of tornadoes that came through the county in 2017.

Ice is the worst, the employees explained, because it hangs on the lines, weighing them down, then the lines bounce back up as the ice melts. 

TVEC has 8,000 miles of lines serving an area that ranges from suburban Dallas to rural North Texas. Keeping our lights on almost all of the time is no small feat.

The cooperative also offers presentations on electrical safety and other facets of the electrical industry to schools and civic groups.

I’d like to thank CEO Jeff Lane and his staff for having me over for an educational experience.

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Thank you also to First Christian Church for inviting me Sunday for an early Thanksgiving dinner and the official welcome of the Rev. David Hunt as the pastor of the congregation. I joined ladies from the Genesis Center in attending the event and enjoyed meeting church members during a joyous occasion.

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And finally, thanks to the businesses and readers who participated in our annual Turkey Scramble Contest! We had about 70 entries this year, and it was fun to talk to our readers as they dropped off their entries and to congratulate the winners when they picked up their gift cards, which we purchased from our advertisers, Brookshire’s and David’s Community Grocery. We hope all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. 

Thanks for reading.

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