SECO Energy organized a module of SECO employees to travel to the Florida Panhandle to aid in power restoration after Hurricane Michael’s 155 mph winds, torrential rains, and immense storm surges ravaged the area. SECO also released contract crews who are also traveling Thursday morning to the damaged areas to aid in restoration.
Hurricane Michael made landfall near Mexico Beach, Florida, on Wednesday afternoon as a powerful Category 4 hurricane with 155 mile per hour winds. The hurricane moved swiftly east through Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina before being downgraded to a tropical storm around midnight Wednesday. Hundreds of thousands of consumers are without power in Alabama, Georgia, Florida and South Carolina. Michael is responsible for at least two deaths in Florida.
A module of SECO first class line technicians, a superintendent, a crew supervisor, a mechanic and a project engineer departed from the SECO Energy headquarters compound early Thursday morning to assist in power restoration at Tri-County Electric Cooperative in Madison, Florida. Tri-County serves members in Dixie, Jefferson, Madison and Taylor Counties along the Gulf of Mexico coast.
Wednesday evening, SECO released a portion of its contractor work force to aid in restoration as well. Crews from overhead line contractor Pike are traveling to West Florida Electric Cooperative in Graceville, Florida.
CEO Jim Duncan stated, “Cooperative members in North Florida desperately need assistance. Cooperation among Cooperatives is one of the seven Cooperative Principles, and SECO and its employees are honored to be called upon to aid in power restoration. The cooperative bond is strong, and we believe in working together to help our members’ lives return to normal.”
Duncan added, “My thoughts and prayers are offered for all who were devastated by Hurricane Michael and for the safety of our crews and contractors who are traveling to assist.”
Vice President of Operations John LaSelva stated, “A Category 4 hurricane like Hurricane Michael wreaks havoc on homes, businesses and electric systems that consumers rely on. The news coverage clearly shows that the hurricane’s destruction was catastrophic. SECO employees were quick to volunteer and answer the call for aid. After Hurricane Irma’s destruction in SECO’s territory last year when so many crews came to assist us, SECO employees believe they have a duty to help our neighboring cooperatives and their members. It was a proud moment this morning seeing our employees off and praying for their safety.”
SECO Traveling Module Team Members:
• Bubba Cole
• Kenneth Budd
• Rodney Lipps
• Mark Locklear
• Kenny Merritt
• Gary Zachary
• Robby Pruett
• Eric Fort
• David Olszanski
• Cory McNeal
• Kent Sprague
• Derek Eveleth
• Brandon Blackmon
• Tommy Lakin
• Logan Delk
• Troy Clough
• Robert Recanzone
• Ryan Hendrix
• Rick Walsh
• Rich Freyser
SECO Energy provides online resources to help families prepare for tropical storms and hurricanes. View an emergency checklist, generator safety information and storm preparation tips online. Bookmark SECO’s StormCenter outage map on your smartphone and tablets to easily access the outage reporting platform. Enroll to receive outage communications via voice, text or email. StormCenter is available online at SECOEnergy.com>StormCenter.
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