Electric cooperatives send crews to Maryland, Virginia for storm relief

About 130 employees from 16 EMCs in Georgia began leaving October 27 and October 28, while others will be heading out October 29 and October 30 for the coasts of Maryland and Virginia

Tucker, Ga., October 29, 2012 — The number of Electric Membership Corp. employees headed to the eastern seaboard to assist following Hurricane Sandy continues to rise, as cooperatives in the region continue preparations in anticipation of the storm.

About 130 employees from 16 EMCs in Georgia began leaving October 27 and October 28, while others will be heading out October 29 and October 30 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.

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 about 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.

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.

Georgia EMC is the statewide trade association representing the state's 42 EMCs, Oglethorpe Power Corp., Georgia Transmission Corp. and Georgia System Operations Corp. Collectively, Georgia's customer-owned EMCs provide electricity and related services to more than four million people, half of Georgia's population, across 73 percent of the state's land area.

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