Sunday, September 28, 2008

Electric Membership Corporations Send line Crews to Louisiana

Photo: Linemen from Coweta-Fayette EMC helping restore power in Louisiana were Josh Minnifield, Chris Sutton, Anthony Walker, Lanny Hammett, Bobby Smith, Doug Worley, Corey Hendrix, Jerome Arrington, Anthony Woodard, Jody Cronan and Shea Lassetter.

Personnel from nine electric membership corporations (EMCs) in Georgia, including Coweta-Fayette EMC, headed to Louisiana last week to help the state’s electric co-ops restore power to areas hardest hit following Hurricane Ike.

“We are eager to help our sister co-ops,” says Michael Whiteside with Coweta-Fayette EMC. “Being an electric co-op means calling upon your neighbors during emergencies. We have an unwritten agreement that says if we’re in trouble, they help us. In return, we help them.”

Crews left Saturday morning from Carroll EMC in Carrollton, Cobb EMC in Marietta, Coweta-Fayette EMC in Newnan, Habersham EMC in Clarkesville, Mitchell EMC in Camilla, Ocmulgee EMC in Eastman, Snapping Shoals EMC in Covington, Southern Rivers Energy in Barnesville and Sumter EMC in Americus.

Winds and heavy rain are a great threat during hurricanes, blowing electric poles and structures to the ground and knocking hundreds of trees on power lines, shutting off power to many EMC consumers.

While we can’t say specifically in what order power will be restored in Louisiana, many utilities follow a standard industry practice to repair and energize its lines. First, feeder and primary lines are repaired, then secondary and service lines next. This method restores power to the greatest number of people in the shortest amount of time.

The EMCs in Georgia have vast experience in restoring power following major storms. In recent years, EMC crews have worked alongside co-ops in South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Florida.

Coweta-Fayette EMC is a consumer owned cooperative providing electricity and related services to 70,000 consumers in Coweta, Fayette, South Fulton, Meriwether, Heard and parts of Clayton, Spalding and Troup counties.
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