Days before Hurricane Matthew was expected to make landfall on the East Coast, Sequachee Valley Electric Cooperative was coordinating volunteer crews to assist sister cooperatives along the coast, if the need for them arose. As Hurricane Matthew strengthened in the Atlantic Ocean and forecasters predicted Florida, South Carolina, Georgia and North Carolina would be impacted by the strong storm, the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association finalized the mutual aid plans with electric cooperatives in Tennessee, to provide restoration assistance to cooperatives along the East Coast.

 “Twelve men from Sequachee Valley Electric Cooperative volunteered to help those who were impacted by this massive storm,” said Mike Partin, president/CEO of Sequachee Valley Electric Cooperative. “Eleven line workers and our vice-president over engineering and operations left on Friday, October 7, for Berkeley Electric Cooperative, along with ten trucks loaded with supplies and equipment. We are proud of these volunteers who are leaving their families to help our sister cooperatives and their members who are in need.”

Berkeley Electric Cooperative is located in Moncks Corner, SC, and serves 85,000 members, of which 63,000 were without power on Saturday night. Hurricane Matthew left over 2 million East Coast residents without power and caused death and destruction in the Caribbean. Several other electric cooperatives in Tennessee also sent volunteers to help restoration in Florida and South Carolina.

“’Cooperation among cooperatives’ is a principle we believe in and practice at SVEC,” said Partin. “There have been times we had to call on others to help us after storm damage caused massive outages across our system. So when we get the call to come help others, we gladly accept.”

Sequachee Valley Electric Cooperative distributes electricity to 35,000 rural members in and around the counties of Marion, Sequatchie, Grundy and Bledsoe in Tennessee.