Aug. 28, 2011
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Crews from eight South Carolina electric cooperatives are heading up to eastern Virginia to assist with the storm.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Irene, more than 1.1 million people in that state are without electricity, marking the second largest power outage in Virginia history.
On Sunday morning, 16 construction crews drawn from Aiken, Blue Ridge, Fairfield, Newberry, Santee and Tri-County Electrical Cooperatives departed for Crewe, Va., to support the restoration efforts of Southside Electrical Cooperative.
Four service crews from Edisto and Marlboro Electrical Cooperatives who left for Warsaw, Va., are also assisting to help restore power for the consumers served by Northern Neck Electric Cooperative.
"We got the call from Virginia this morning that they needed help, and our guys were on the road before noon," said Todd Carter, vice president of Loss Control & Training at The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina Inc., the state trade association for electric cooperatives.
Carter said 83 South Carolina cooperative employees "are prepared to be in Virginia for at least a week, maybe 10 days."
One day after Hurricane Irene lashed eastern Virginia, utilities are still assessing the scope of the damage. Carter says more crews from South Carolina cooperatives may be called upon in the next 24 hours to provide further assistance.
"If they need the help, we'll do what we can to make sure they get it," Carter said.