MILLBORO — BARC Electric Cooperative has dispatched 10 crew members to Alabama in an effort to restore power in the aftermath of Hurricane Sally.
Electric cooperatives in Virginia and Maryland on Friday dispatched emergency teams of lineworkers to the Gulf Coast following the devastation last week from Sally, a slow-moving storm that dumped in excess of two feet of rain on parts of Alabama, Mississippi and Florida.
Seventy lineworkers from six electric cooperatives headed to the Gulf Coast, where they were scheduled to spend several days in the service territory of Baldwin Electric Membership Corp.
Baldwin EMC had more than 78,000 members in the dark after Sally lashed the coast, destroying miles of power lines and thousands of power poles.
“We’re looking for a lot of flooding, a lot of water and a lot of wind damage. It’s going to be an obstacle,” Kyle Hadley of Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative said as he headed to Alabama. “Our No. 1 goal is to work safely, get the power restored and help people out in a time of need.”
The Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives coordinated the response. Phil Jarvis, manager of safety services for the association, said Alabama cooperatives estimated they would need at least 1,000 lineworkers to rebuild the ravaged electric system.
Jarvis noted that Alabama is in particular need of right-of-way crews, and BARC Electric responded with six from its in-house, right-of-way crews, as well as four lineworkers. It is the largest mutual aid response from the VMD Association since Hurricane Irma in 2017.
“The response came together very quickly and we’re committed to help get the lights back on in these hard-hit areas,” Jarvis said.
Headquartered in Glen Allen, the Virginia, Maryland and Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives provides safety and training, communications and legislative services to 15 electric cooperatives serving the three-state Mid-Atlantic region.
For more information on VMDAEC, visit www.vmdaec.com or www.co-opliving.com.
BARC wished all cooperative team members a safe journey as they traveled to Alabama.