(JEFFERSON, Ga. October 10, 2016) Jackson Electric Membership Corporation (EMC) has released nine construction contract crews and 22 right-of-way contract crews, along with sending 26 cooperative employees and 15 trucks to help restore power in coastal areas in Georgia, Florida and South Carolina.
Jackson EMC personnel left Jefferson and Lawrenceville in the early hours of Sunday morning to drive to Coastal Electric Cooperative in Walterboro, South Carolina, which had about two-thirds of its members without power following Hurricane Matthew. As of this morning, nearly 60 percent of its members were still without power.
“One of the great things about cooperatives is that we come to each other’s aid,” said Jackson EMC Director of Operations Services Dwayne Ansley. “We benefited from other cooperatives’ help during the 2015 ice storm and we’re happy to return the favor.”
More than 300 line workers and right-of-way crews from 21 non-affected EMCs and contractors across the state have been diligently working to restore power as quickly and as safely as possible. Broken poles, downed trees and lines on roadways, heavy debris, soggy terrain and standing water have substantially slowed progress. Initial reports indicate Matthew’s hurricane-force winds damaged several transmission lines and substations in the affected areas as well as damaged or destroyed hundreds of poles and distribution lines.