UPDATE: Sept. 14, 2:30 p.m.
Kenergy crews are no longer going to Virginia Saturday morning. They will now be headed to Berkeley Electric Cooperative in South Carolina, near Charleston.
“This is where the state (of Kentucky) has seen the greatest need, so that’s where they are sending all of the Kentucky co-ops,” said Public Relations Specialist, Leslie Neeley. “It looks like we are more needed in South Carolina.”
Local Kenergy crews will be collecting food items and supplies tonight and leaving tomorrow morning for South Carolina.
As millions evacuated the Carolinas in an attempt to flee the damage Hurricane Florence might bring to the east coast, Owensboro Kenergy crews are headed into the storm.
Kenergy will send 12 linemen, three crews of four, on Saturday morning to Virginia to await the direction and damage of the hurricane at that time. Although Florence has been downgraded significantly, from a Category 4 to a Category 1 over the last 72 hours, the threat of lost power and downed power lines is still a concern.
The Kentucky Association of Electric Cooperatives (KAEC) is the one who makes the decision to send crews out. In this case, they are deploying all Kentucky co-ops to Virginia for restoration and recovery.
“Anytime there is a disaster, the state organizes everything and asks what we can provide,” said Leslie Neeley, Kenergy Communications and Public Relations and Specialist.
Neeley also said that crews are made up of linemen that volunteer to go into the storm “out of the goodness of their heart,” adding “they’re always wanting to help people.”
These linemen do receive overtime for their time and efforts, as they often leave behind families in order to clear down trees to repair broken poles and wade through flooded roads to access power lines.