COOKEVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Midstate utility companies are sending an army of linemen to help residents affected by Hurricane Florence to have their power restored.
The Upper Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation was one of many to send crews east to the Carolinas region.
The linemen will soon be on the front line of hazardous duty to get the lights back on to hundreds of thousands of people in the path of Florence.
Their safety meeting on Friday morning before they left underscored the danger involved. Linemen have died in recovery efforts after every natural disaster.
“Let’s face facts. The worst possible scenario happens at every one of these, it always has. It will happen over here, let’s make sure it doesn’t happen to anybody in this room,” said UCEMC Safety Director Jason Stanton before the crews left Cookeville.
Many of the workers are veterans of other recovery efforts, all volunteering to go into the affected area.
“These people have lost everything. Electricity is a necessity, not a luxury,” said lineman Jason Moss. “These people, you’ll see them go weeks without water, showers, can’t cook food. It’s devastating.”
Getting these workers back safely is a top priority.
“Day-to-day hazards they face, working with high voltage will be multiplied tenfold,” said Stanton.