The IF Effect: Service to Neighboring Communities
Idaho Falls Mayor Rebecca Casper
In January, we focused heavily on all the snow removal efforts in Idaho Falls. Just a few short weeks following that, our focus turned to helping our neighboring communities that were also dealing with extreme winter conditions – snow, flooding, freezing temperatures and wind.
In early February, five area utilities assisted Lower Valley Energy in restoring power to Teton Village after a significant windstorm, with wind gusts of up to 90 mph, brought down 17 double-circuit 115 kV transmission poles. The outage affected 3,500 customers. Idaho Falls Power sent a team of linemen to restore electrical service. “We were honored to be part of Lower Valley Energy's emergency response team and work side-by-side with the region's talented craftsmen. Hats off to Lower Valley Energy and all the responders for restoring power safely and expeditiously,” stated IFP General Manager, Jackie Flowers.
A few weeks after Idaho Falls Power’s deployment, members of the Eastern Idaho All-Hazards Type III Incident Management Team were deployed to Minidoka County to assist with flooding and severe weather conditions. The County properties have undergone extensive damage to roads, farms and homes. The current estimated cost, including labor and road damage is at $2 million, not including volunteer hours or loss to private property. Included in the cross-disciplined team were individuals from Teton County down south to Bannock County. City of Idaho Falls employees from the Mayor’s Office and the Idaho Falls Fire Department were part of that team. “We are happy to provide whatever assistance we can give to help our colleagues and neighbors as they deal with this incident. Our thoughts are with them as they continue to rebuild their community,” stated Fire Chief, Dave Hanneman.
I am immensely proud of the natural leadership role filled by Idaho Falls. It benefits all of Eastern Idaho. Excellent training and the can-do attitude of Idaho Falls’ employees makes this possible and allows us to be of service when the occasion arises. As we plan for this summer’s Air Show and the all-consuming Total Solar Eclipse, the region will again be working alongside the Idaho Falls leadership teams.
Why do we do this? As neighbors, we share more than common borders – we share common concerns and challenges. By creating cooperative partnerships with neighboring communities, we enhance the management of resources, improve local and regional planning, and protect our citizens, property and quality of life far beyond our borders. That is the “IF Effect.”
There’s no doubt this winter will be one to remember – one that has us all begging for warmer temperatures, blue skies and a healthy dose of sunshine. In the meantime, we will keep our spirts high, our focus on the tasks-at-hand, and our sights set on providing excellent customer service to our residents and neighbors alike. Keep up the great work, teams!
Mayor Rebecca Casper