Duck River Electric Membership Corporation (DREMC) linemen answered the call for help to restore power in the wake of Hurricane Matthew, a category 3 storm that scraped the Atlantic coast of Florida on Friday after causing death and destruction in the Caribbean.
Eight line workers and two supervisors loaded up eight trucks and hit the road, destined for Clay Electric Cooperative in northern Florida. They were part of an overall mutual aid effort coordinated by the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association to help co-ops in Florida and South Carolina recover from the hurricane.
Clay Electric, headquartered in Keystone, Fla., serves 170,000 members in 14 counties. The co-op has 13,000 miles of line and was gearing up for massive power outages from the hurricane’s high-velocity, straight-line winds and spin-off tornadoes.
In early September, Clay Electric was hit by Hurricane Hermine, a storm that interrupted power to 43,000 members.
“We are proud of our linemen for volunteering to help a sister electric cooperative through a time of trouble,” said DREMC CEO and President Michael Watson.
“One of the Cooperative Principles is the willingness to help fellow electric cooperatives. During the ice storms of 2015, Duck River received outside aid in power restoration. In the same spirit, we stand ready to help whenever our crews are needed.”