Middle Tennessee Electric crews head south for hurricane relief
Three, four-man crews from Middle Tennessee Electric are on their way to Florida to join efforts to restore power in the wake of Hurricane Matthew.
The workers and nine trucks will depart from the electric cooperative's Murfreesboro office at 6 a.m. Friday; their destination is Keystone Heights, Fla., where they'll be assisting Clay Electric Cooperative in restoration efforts.
"We got the call yesterday asking if we could send crews to assist as Hurricane Matthew headed toward the U.S.," said Chris Jones, MTEMC president and CEO. "MTEMC and a number of other electric cooperatives in Tennessee are responding to that call."
Jones said MTEMC's line crews are often eager to help when situations are at their worst.
"It is amazing to watch these guys when they know people are in need," he said. "That's when they're at their best. We're very proud of them."
The Middle Tennessee Electric crews will be joined by approximately 80 volunteers from electric cooperatives from across the state. Some of the cooperative volunteers are being dispatched to Charleston, S.C., while the majority will continue on to Florida.
"As cooperatives," Jones said, "one of our core values is assisting other cooperatives in need. If we had a bad ice storm, you can bet these cooperatives would be there to help us if we needed them."
Media interested in being present for the crews leaving should arrive at the Middle Tennessee Electric Murfreesboro Office no later than 5:30 a.m., Friday. The address is 326 St. Andrews Dr., Murfreesboro.
The last time MTEMC was asked to assist in the wake of a hurricane was in 2011 after Hurricane Irene tore through Fredericksburg, Va. Prior to 2011, crews were sent to assist in the restoration efforts after Hurricane Gustav ravaged Louisiana in 2008.
Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation is a member-owned, not-for-profit cooperative providing electricity to more than 214,000 residential and business members in Williamson, Wilson, Rutherford, Cannon and surrounding counties.
For more information, please contact Middle Tennessee Electric's Vice President of Communications & Member Service Robert White at 615-494-1058.