Tennessee lineworkers head to South Carolina to restore power

Friday, February 14, 2014

From Staff Reports

Before dawn Thursday, Operations Supervisor Tony Crowell and Lineman Brian Seals left Lewisburg to join 39 other electric cooperative workers from Tennessee who went to South Carolina to help restore power to those affected by a powerful winter storm.

"Tennessee crews and equipment are on the way to help South Carolina recover from this historic storm," said David Callis, executive vice president and general manager of the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association. "We are proud of these volunteers who are leaving their families to help others in need. This will be hard, dangerous work in difficult conditions."

More than 50 additional lineworkers were on standby to leave Thursday afternoon should the need arise.

Electric cooperatives across the Southeast began planning earlier this week, and details have been adjusted as the exact path of the storm and the extent of the damage became more certain. Electric cooperatives utilize common safety and construction standards that allow crews to safely and efficiently assist other systems.

Crews from Tennessee will be assisting Santee Electric Cooperative in Kingstree, S.C., approximately 30 miles west of Myrtle Beach.

In addition to Crowell and Seals, seven additional workers from Duck River Electric Membership Corporation headed east, joining others from the Chickasaw Electric Cooperative, Somerville; Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation, Clarksville; Plateau Electric Cooperative, Oneida; and Sequachee Valley Electric Cooperative, South Pittsburg.

"One day we will need help," says Callis, "And when that tornado or ice storm arrives, we know that this assistance will be repaid. Cooperation is one of the founding principles of electric cooperatives. It is what makes us different from other utilities."

The Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association is a trade group representing the interests of 23 electric distribution cooperatives and the 1.1 million members they serve across rural and suburban Tennessee.