Volunteer lineworkers from 11 electric cooperatives to participate in restoration effort following massive hurricane
NASHVILLE – More than 90 electric cooperative lineworkers from Tennessee are heading to Florida and Georgia to restore power to those affected by Hurricane Irma.
“Eleven electric cooperatives in Tennessee are sending personnel and equipment to Florida and Georgia to assist electric cooperatives impacted by this incredible storm,” said David Callis, executive vice president and general manager of the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association.
Tennessee crews have been making plans since last week, but co-ops were hesitant to commit crews until the remnants of Hurricane Irma moved through Tennessee. With the storm passed, some crews have already left and others are making final preparations to leave for hard-hit Florida and Georgia. This cooperation is enabled through mutual-aid agreements among electric cooperatives.
“On more than one occasion our friends from other states have offered assistance following tornados and ice storms,” says Callis. “We are glad to repay their kindness. Cooperation is one of the founding principles of electric cooperatives. It is what makes us different from other utilities.”
Crews from Tennessee are joining some 5,000 electric cooperative workers from 25 states who are converging this week on the hurricane’s impact zone. This represents one of the largest coordinated electric restoration efforts in history.
“We invite you to keep these co-op heroes in your thoughts and prayers,” says Callis, “Today they are lacing up their boots, leaving their families and heading to a difficult and dangerous environment. Our lineworkers are second-to-none, and we are very proud of their desire to help those in need.”
The Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association provides leadership, advocacy and support for Tennessee’s 23 electric cooperatives and publishes The Tennessee Magazine, the state’s most widely circulated periodical. Visit tnelectric.org or tnmagazine.org to learn more.