Alabama power crews aid storm relief in Virginia, Maryland
by Eddie Burkhalter
eburkhalter@annistonstar.com
Oct 30, 2012 | 3811 views |  0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Nearly 1,000 workers from Alabama are taking part in the effort to restore power after Hurricane Sandy slammed into the east coast Monday killing more than 30 and leaving millions without power.

Alabama Power spokesperson Allison Tucker said Tuesday that 849 workers from Alabama Power have been, or are readying to be sent to areas along the east coast to join the effort. More than 470 Alabama Power workers were sent over the weekend to Maryland.

As of Tuesday afternoon, no members of the Alabama National Guard’s 2025th Transportation Company based in Jacksonville and Company F, 1/167th Infantry Battalion in Oxford have been called into service to aid in the effort.

Spc. Brenda Thomas from the Alabama National Guard public affairs office in Montgomery said that guard members are ready if the call does come.

“We’re standing by and keeping an eye on it, but none of us have been called to go yet,” said Spc. Thomas.

Out of Alabama’s 22 electrical cooperatives, 16 have sent 21 crews of 137 workers to Virginia and Maryland, according to the Alabama Rural Electric Association of Cooperatives, the agency coordinating the efforts.

Crews from Coosa Valley Electric Cooperative left for Virginia Sunday to help reconnect the more than 15,000 Rappahannock Electric Cooperative customers who were without power as of Tuesday.

“We have sent 8 men and their equipment to help a fellow cooperative restore service to its members who are out of power,” said Leland Fuller, CVEC general manager. “We have been in contact with our statewide association since Friday of last week helping coordinate Alabama’s response to expected requests.”

Jon Cullimore, manager of marketing and member services at Coosa Electric, said the company’s crews will likely remain in Virginia for the remainder of the week, and “given the extent of damage that’s up there” Cullimore said they would likely be reassigned once they’ve competed their current work.

Coosa Electric usually keeps crews out for no more than two weeks, Cullimore said, and if the work requires a longer stay, fresh crews will replace workers in the field.

Coosa valley Electric serves more than 16.500 customers in Talladega, St. Clair, Shelby, Clay, Etowah and Calhoun counties.

Star staff writer Eddie Burkhalter: 256-235-3563 or on Twitter @burkhalter_sta
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