Local utility workers head to North Carolina ahead of Hurricane - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Local utility workers head to North Carolina ahead of Hurricane Florence

Posted: Sep 12, 2018 1:31 PM -04:00 Updated:

Utility workers from Marion County are headed to North Carolina.

The Sequachee Valley Electric Cooperative dispatched nearly a dozen workers ahead of the storm.

Before starting their more than the 550-mile journey, some are saying this is just another day at work.

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“When storms happen this is what we do, we help,” said Michael Partin who is the President and CEO of Sequachee Valley Electric Co-operative.

He says his crew is happy to lend a hand because in 2011 when tornadoes struck the Tennessee Valley, other groups did the same for his team.

“A few years ago co-ops from around the country came to help us and we return the favor. One of the principles of our business is cooperation among cooperatives and we go when the call comes,” said Partin.

Line crews left before the sun came up Wednesday morning to meet another utility company in Burgaw, North Carolina, roughly 30 miles of North of Wilmington.
Michael Partin said, “ From all accounts, the news is taking it certainly will be a site of devastation, so we will go in once assessments have been made. A lot of broken poles a lot of down power lines. That’s what our guys will be going to work on.”

As they wait for Hurricane Florence to make landfall, they will be stationed inland, but they know the risk of heading into a storm when others are fleeing.

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This is the 7th time Pikeville foreman, Joel Roberts, has left the Tennessee Valley ahead of a disaster, but he says this storm stands out.

“Not nothing of this size, “ expressed Roberts. “Not the destruction they are talking about. So I think it's going to be kind of new for me.”

Roberts says he isn’t scared to face the unknown because he has faith his crew can tackle anything that comes their way.

“It’s a lot of long hours and hard work and one thing we got a lot of good men that are going with us today, Roberts said.”

Good men, leaving behind family friends, who they plan to update from the road using the company’s Facebook page.

The utility is using the #COOPSTRONG hashtag to document their trip and visit the Sequachee Valley Electric Cooperative's Facebook page.

We will also be in touch so we can update you on their work and what they face.


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