More power crews head to US eastern seaboard

Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Tucker, Georgia: The number of Electric Membership Corporation (EMC) employees headed to the eastern seaboard to assist following Storm Sandy continues to rise, as cooperatives in the region continue preparations in anticipation of the storm.

Approximately 130 employees from 16 EMCs in Georgia began leaving Saturday and Sunday, while others will be heading out Monday and Tuesday for the coasts of Maryland and Virginia. There, they will help restore power to thousands of customers who are expected to be without electricity following the Storm.

"Going up before Sandy makes landfall gives our crews the opportunity to work closely with the local electric cooperative to review road maps, scope critical locations and familiarize themselves with the electric distribution systems in these areas," says Georgia EMC Training, Safety and Education Vice President Jim Wright.

"When the storm moves through, everyone will be in position and can immediately begin restoration work."  

Since the Storm is expected to produce destructive winds and heavy rainfall, Wright anticipates the work for Georgia EMC linemen will likely involve clearing trees from roadways and power lines, replacing broken poles, stringing new wire and repairing individual service.

Georgia line crews are expected to stay approximately one to two weeks but will remain in the region for as long as necessary.

Electric cooperative crews in Georgia are some of the most skilled and knowledgeable in the industry and have extensive experience working in storm conditions in South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Kentucky, Virginia and Florida.

To date, crews have been sent or will be sent from Altamaha EMC in Lyons, Carroll EMC in Carrollton, Central Georgia EMC in Jackson, Diverse Power in Lagrange, Flint Energies in Reynolds, Hart EMC in Hartwell, Irwin EMC in Ocilla, Jackson EMC in Jefferson, Jefferson Energy in Wrens, Middle Georgia EMC in Vienna, Mitchell EMC in Camilla, Snapping Shoals EMC in Covington, Southern Rivers in Barnesville, Tri-County EMC in Gray, Walton EMC in Monroe and Washington EMC in Sandersville. 

Wright says EMCs may send additional workers and equipment after the Storm moves through and the local electric cooperatives survey the distribution system and complete their damage assessments.

The crews, trucks and equipment are being coordinated by Georgia EMC, the statewide association, which works from an emergency plan that coordinates crews during emergencies such as ice storms, tornadoes and hurricanes.
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