Kentucky Co-op Crews deployed to Hurricane Matthew

UPDATE: With the deployment of an additional 33 linemen to North Carolina on Sunday morning, Kentucky’s electric cooperatives now have 143 linemen assigned to co-ops in South Carolina and North Carolina following Hurricane Matthew.  This is the largest number of Kentucky cooperative linemen deployed out of state since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Among the new deployments is a crew of five Jackson Purchase Energy Corporation workers who departed early Sunday morning to travel to North Carolina to assist with power restoration.

“JPEC is part of a network of more than 900 electric cooperatives across the nation,” said Dennis L. Cannon, JPEC’s president and CEO.  “During emergencies, we help each other restore power quickly and safely.”

The JPEC workers will be restoring power for Pee Dee Electric Membership Corporation (EMC) in Wadesboro, North Carolina. As of Saturday evening, approximately 40% of Pee Dee EMC’s 20,000 consumers were without power.

Coordinated by the Safety and Loss Prevention Team of the Kentucky Association of Electric Cooperatives, the mutual aid effort is in response to requests from affected electric cooperatives.

ORIGINAL STORY:  As of noon Saturday, 111 linemen from 12 Kentucky electric cooperatives are deployed to South Carolina to assist in recovery efforts in the wake of Hurricane Matthew. 

Coordinated by the Safety and Loss Prevention Team of the Kentucky Association of Electric Cooperatives, the mutual aid effort is in response to requests from affected electric cooperatives. In advance of potentially damaging weather events, out-of-state crews are requested to travel to affected areas, then workers are on call depending on the severity of the destruction and path of the storm.

KAEC has additional offers of assistance from six more Kentucky co-ops with 35 additional linemen ready to go. 

Kentucky co-op crews now assigned to Berkeley Electric Cooperative in South Carolina:  South Kentucky, Cumberland Valley, Jackson Energy, Licking Valley, Clark, Warren & Farmers.

Five co-ops who were initially assigned to an electric cooperative in Florida have been reassigned to other electric cooperative service areas in South Carolina.

Kentucky crews assigned to Aiken Electric Cooperative:  Nolin & Blue Grass

Kentucky crews assigned to Palmetto Electric Cooperative:  Owen, Shelby & Salt River

“May the Kentucky electric cooperatives employees who leave their families to restore power in areas damaged by Hurricane Matthew return safely home after helping cooperative families in need,” said Clarence Greene, KAEC Director of Safety and Loss Prevention.

KAEC is preparing for the likelihood that North Carolina co-ops may also be asking for assistance.  Crews from Kenergy, West Kentucky, Jackson Purchase, Meade, Fleming-Mason & Big Sandy electric cooperatives have all offered to assist.

All four of the Kentucky electric cooperatives who had planned to compete in the KC International Rodeo have instead sent linemen from their rodeo teams to assist with this storm restoration (Nolin, Owen, Clark & Blue Grass).  

“KAEC commends the sacrifice and commitment of linemen crews and staffs from our member cooperatives across the commonwealth who are demonstrating the co-op spirit to help our co-op brethren affected by Hurricane Matthew,” said Chris Perry, president and CEO of the statewide association.

Related Articles