Local utilities helping to restore power

By TIM SINIARD
Posted 10/12/18

Help has arrived.Employees from two local utilities are now  in Florida and Georgia, working to restore electricity to areas affected by the massive destruction of Hurricane Micheal.Cleveland …

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Local utilities helping to restore power

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Help has arrived.

Employees from two local utilities are now  in Florida and Georgia, working to restore electricity to areas affected by the massive destruction of Hurricane Micheal.

Cleveland Utilities supervisor of customer relations Jamie Creekmore said a crew left Cleveland Tuesday morning at 6.

“They made it to Tallahassee late that evening,” Creekmore said. “They met with Tallahassee safety and line personnel that evening, before reporting to their assigned hotel to wait out the storm.” 

Creekmore said the crews reported to work at 6 a.m. Thursday.

“They reported this morning that of the 123,000 customers on the system, 112,000 had no power," Creekmore said.

Volunteer Energy Cooperative sent 10 lineworkers to Dudley, Georgia, to assist Oconee EMC in hurricane recovery efforts there, according to Julie Jones, communications and public relations coordinator at VEC. 

Jones said VEC crews began recovery work Thursday, after it was safe to work.

Jones warned earlier in the week the storm was expected to bring "strong winds and significant rainfall to the northern Gulf Coast, and VEC crews will be assisting with the recovery effort as soon as it is safe to work."

Rody Blevins, CEO and president of VEC, said he was proud of the linemen who are helping to restore power to areas affected by the massive hurricane.

“Strong storms like this can leave thousands of people without power,” Blevins said. “We are proud of our linemen for volunteering to assist. They will be working long days in difficult conditions, but they were quick to respond to the call for help. We ask that the public keep them and their families in your thoughts and prayers while they are away."

Crews left from the Cleveland Service Center early on Thursday morning, and were expected to arrive at Oconee EMC later in the day. It is unclear how long they will be in Georgia.

Travis Kowanetz, a lineworker with VEC, said he was it was an honor to help.

“You are helping people when they need it the most," Kowanetz said.

Crews from CU and VEC will be joining some 100 other lineworkers from 12 other electric cooperatives across Tennessee who will be assisting with hurricane and tropical storm recovery efforts, Jones said.

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