Some local utilities have sent workers to Florida to help restore power for folks affected by Hurricane Irma. Jared Brumbaugh has more.
Fifty-four crew members from Greenville Utilities left early Tuesday morning. The convoy of 16 bucket trucks and post diggers met up with a pair of workers from Kinston Public Services with their own bucket truck to help the hundreds of thousands of people without power in the Orlando area. Substation Lineman Remington Gaskins considers it an honor to be selected to go. It's his first time going on a hurricane relief/restoration mission.
“I’ve seen some bad stuff down there. It seems like the rivers are flowing through the streets. I’m actually preparing for the worst thing possible, like I said, I’ve never been on a storm before, so I truthfully don’t know what to expect but I’m trying to prepare for the worst.”
The crew arrived in Lakeland last night, but Communications Manager and Public Information Officer for Greenville Utilities Steve Hawley says there’s no way to know exactly how long they’ll be in Florida.
“We’re guessing about two weeks. But with Hurricane Jose off the coast, and looking like it could potentially come towards eastern Carolina, if it looks like it’s going to threaten us, we’ll make the call and have those guys come home so they can take of our utility system.”
Greenville Utilities was on the receiving end of post-storm assistance after Hurricane Irene in 2011, when crews came from Huntsville, Alabama and Fayetteville.