Local utility crews help restore power after Hurricane Dorian
Hurricane Dorian has produced heavy rain and flooding, strong winds, and tornadoes in the Carolinas.
Several local power crews answered the call to head to the coast to assist in power restoration after Dorian.
One such team is from the Athens Utilities Board.
They are currently in Conway, South Carolina - outside of Myrtle Beach, but they started the week in Gainesville, Florida.
After there was no major damage there from Hurricane Dorian, they were released from Gainesville and called up to South Carolina to help.
The two - 3 person crews from Athens Utilities arrived in Conway last night around 8pm.
"They went straight into orientation meetings with local utility officials there to get safety briefings and an understanding of the local power system," Wayne Scarbrough, Assistant General Manager of Athens Utilities Board said.
There are a lot of things that are common among power systems, but some are unique such as transition points and line access difficulties due to geography.
This is why the orientation meeting was important.
"Transferring their knowledge from their local home system to be able to go out and work on a strange system with people they've just met," explained Scarbrough.
The six men were told to hunker down in their hotel on Thursday as Dorian passed, and then report Friday morning at 6am to begin restoring power.
"They basically got the town shut down right now. Only the emergency crews that they're basically letting out, the immediate emergency crews, and if we're needed, we're on standby," David Rayl, Crew Foreman of Athens Utilities Board, who is in Conway, SC, said of the situation on Thursday.
There was a possible tornado about 10 minutes from the crew’s hotel location earlier on Thursday.
"If the storm hits with the intensity that we foresee, they will likely be there for a week. Because you are working for 16 to 20 hours a day under some pretty stressful conditions, very stressful conditions, and so, we usually rotate them out after a week and get a fresh crew rotated back in there," Scarbrough stated of their procedure.
As of Thursday afternoon, they are playing a waiting game, riding out the hurricane.
"We've never had a chance to experience one that we had to wait around so much. We're ready to get out there and get at it, start restoring power," Rayl told Channel 3.
Both men told me that linemen are a brotherhood and are very willing to help others.
Cleveland Utilities also has a team in Conway, South Carolina. Sequachee Valley Electric Cooperative has 12 men that drove on Thursday from South Georgia to Jacksonville, North Carolina to assist. TVA has a helicopter on standby for Duke Energy in North Carolina as well.
North Georgia EMC had 12 lineworkers in Savannah, GA. They went down on Tuesday and with limited problems in Savannah, they returned home to North Georgia on Thursday.