150 Service Electric employees deployed to the Northeast - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

150 Service Electric employees deployed to the Northeast

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

Crews from the Tennessee Valley are helping those in the Northeast stand strong in the face of a massive winter storm.

Blizzard and winter storm warnings are up from New Jersey through Maine and into Canada. The National Weather Service described the winter storm moving across the Northeast as "life threatening" and "historic." Forecasts are predicting 1-3 feet of snow fall, freezing rain and winds up to 65-miles per hour to slam the Northeast coast within the next 24-hours.

"We started receiving calls yesterday afternoon and they actually placed an order for service crews last night to the Northeast," said Brian Imsand, Vice President of Distribution Services, Service Electric Company.

150-area employees with Service Electric Company, packed their bags Monday morning to leave for Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

"We anticipate broken poles, downed wires and broken cross arms," said Imsand. "We know we've been there before ourselves and I'd like to believe and know our crews go with a lot of compassion because they know what it's like to be without power."

EPB has also released some of its contract crews to the Northeast. If we have a weather emergency here, EPB officials say they will call upon surrounding companies to fill the gap.

Service Electric Company workers just got back last week from an 11-day mission in Midland Texas, repairing winter storm damage. In the Northeast, however long it takes officials say they're prepared to work 16-hour work days.

"We never know when we are going to get called out for disaster services," said Julia Wright, Executive Director for American Red Cross, Southeast Tennessee.

Wright tells Channel 3 more than 400-volunteers are ready to deploy to the Northeast, should help be needed. She says this is a good time for everyone to look at emergency planning. If you have family stuck at the airport or living in the storm's path, encourage them to take the safety warnings seriously.

"Mostly we just want people to be individually prepared for what could happen to their families," said Wright.

Officials say the Service Electric Company employees who left Monday morning, should make it to their destinations by Monday night. The crews were able to leave only after several customers agreed to have some area service projects delayed.

"I'm really proud of our guys for the job they do, they're outstanding just the best of the best," said Imsand. "Our customers are the best of the best too, we appreciate them as well."

To find out how you can volunteer for help local American Red Cross organizations provide disaster relief visit: Redcross.org

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