Another hurricane strikes, and more power crews are dispatched to Florida. But as News 12 shows us, our local crews are still helping recovery efforts in Mississippi.
Hurricane Wilma ripped across southern Florida, toppling trees, uprooting homes and downing power lines. Georgia Power crews from southern parts of the state are now on the scene. No one from Augusta’s Georgia Power office is there, but that’s because they’re still helping with the hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast.
Chester Parker was among the first to go to Mississippi.
“This is unusual for us. Normally we go in and we finish and we come home and it’s not a long-term thing. But Mississippi was damaged so bad and there is lingering effect down there,” Parker said.
Five-person crews are rotating on two-week shifts in Gulfport, Mississippi. These pictures show where they’re working, here on one of the electrical ground stations. To this day, houses are in ruins and boats are stranded in parking lots. One power pole is barely still in the ground, while they set up temporary electricity at tent cities.
“This is one where there’s so much damage in that area, a lot of the equipment, literally having to be changed out. So we’re helping out with that process as well,” Parker said.
So how long will these two-week rotations last?
“Right now, we don’t know. It’s for the foreseeable future. It could very well be most of the rest of the year,” Parker said.
An uncertain future for an area that needs all the help it can get.
The five-person Georgia Power team includes three underground and two overhead crews.