EMCs send additional crews to Mississippi

The number of Electric Membership Corporation (EMC) employees headed to hard hit areas following Hurricane Isaac continues to grow, as cooperatives in the region, including Coweta-Fayette EMC, survey damage and begin repairs to the electric distribution system.

As of 2 p.m. Thursday, approximately 160 employees from 15 EMCs in Georgia had traveled to Mississippi to help restore power to thousands of consumers without electricity.

Coweta-Fayette EMC linemen Wes Abbott, Robert McDonald, Charles Proctor, Dale McWaters, Ben Young, David Tillery, Chris Gray, Doug Worley, Bobby Smith and Lee Sewell joined in the effort by heading to Southwest Mississippi EPA in Natchez.

“The most severe weather has moved through and allowed the electric co-ops to begin identifying outages and the areas hardest hit,” said Georgia EMC Training, Safety and Education Vice President Jim Wright. “Now the real work begins.”

Initially, around 100 workers from Georgia began traveling Wednesday to damaged areas in southern Mississippi, but the numbers continue to grow. Georgia line crews are expected to stay approximately 10 to 14 days, but will remain in the region for as long as necessary.

The crews, trucks and equipment are being coordinated by Georgia EMC, the statewide association, which works from an emergency plan to coordinate crews during events like ice storms, tornadoes and hurricanes.

As seasoned veterans of storm repair/restoration work, Georgia’s crews have extensive experience in South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana and Florida.

To date, crews have also been sent from Canoochee EMC in Reidsville, Carroll EMC in Carrollton, Cobb EMC in Marietta, Colquitt EMC in Moultrie, Diverse Power in LaGrange, Flint Energies in Reynolds, Grady EMC in Cairo, GreyStone Power in Douglasville, Okefenoke REMC in Nahunta, Rayle EMC in Washington, Satilla REMC in Alma, Snapping Shoals EMC in Covington, Southern Rivers Energy in Barnesville and Walton EMC in Monroe. That number could increase if additional crews are requested.

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 member-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.

Coweta-Fayette EMC is a consumer-owned cooperative providing electricity and related services to over 74,000 member accounts in Coweta, Fayette, Heard, South Fulton, Clayton, Spalding, Troup and Meriwether Counties.

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