The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas have sent 100 linemen and about 60 trucks to the East Coast to assist with power restoration efforts expected from Hurricane Florence.
The crews, which include members of Arkansas Valley and Ozarks Electric Cooperatives, left Monday and are staged outside of the hurricane’s path, according to Arkansas Valley Electric Cooperatives spokesman Greg Davis.
Once the storm has mostly passed, the linemen will enter the most heavily damaged areas to assist with electric line repairs.
“They have all the tools they need, including chainsaws, gas and plenty of food and fresh water so they won’t be a burden on the local recovery effort,” Davis said.
The “mutual aid assistance” to the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas came from other electric cooperatives on the East Coast. Similar mutual aid assistance calls also go out from Arkansas to other states following major widespread weather events like a tornado or ice storm.
The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas has sent crews to other states up to four times in one year, while other years there have been no assistance calls.
Crews from Oklahoma Gas & Electric have also been sent to the East Coast.
A convoy of 42 OGE trucks with 79 employees left Tuesday morning for Raleigh, N.C., to help with expected damage from Hurricane Florence, an OG&E spokesperson said. Duke Energy in North Carolina, one of OG&E's aid assistance partners, made the request for help from OG&E.