TN Valley crews ready to respond to Hurricane Michael damage
Tennessee Valley crews are ready to respond to the damage caused by Hurricane Michael in Florida and Georgia.
Volunteers with the Red Cross from Northwest Georgia and linemen from Chattanooga are already in place.
Everyone is on standby until the storm has passed. That's when the real work will begin for Tennessee Valley crews.
"Our guys are ready to go at the drop of a hat,” Chris Froehlich, with Service Electric Company in Chattanooga, said.
Froehlich said nearly a dozen people from Chattanooga are in the Florida panhandle. Froehlich added they're part of the 230 people that were sent from Tennessee.
Several co-workers pointed out what got posted regarding the number of people we sent. Not sure if you’re able to clarify/amend but we sent 235+ from Tennessee alone (a dozen of which were working for EPB).
Earlier this week, linemen told their families they would make the trip down to help restore power. They took bucket trucks and other tools with them.
"We talk about first responders, whether it's firemen or the police, but linemen are always on the front lines when it comes to these storms,” Froehlich said.
While they prepare to respond outside of Pensacola, the state of Georgia is also on alert.
"It's not going to be a simple walk away from it with no damage. It's going to be one with serious damage and life should be the primary concern,” Governor Nathan Deal of Georgia said.
The Northwest Georgia chapter of the Red Cross has already deployed volunteers in response to Hurricane Michael.
Longtime volunteer Weyland Billingsley spoke with Channel 3 over the phone on his way to Macon.
"We're able to help people who are in dire straights often with immediate aid and give them security, a place of safety, some food,” Billingsley said.
Billingsley said he'll work with emergency managers in the counties under an emergency declaration.
As for Froehlich, he said his crews are ready to help.
"I think the character and integrity of our guys speaks volumes. It seems like wherever they go, if it's in the northeast or the south, they're constantly getting praised and so, it definitely makes you proud,” Froehlich said.
The linemen could be in Florida for at least a week or two.
Some other agencies that are on standby for the storm include the Salvation Army of Greater Chattanooga.