SWEPCO, Oncor to send help to Carolinas in advance of hurricane

SWEPCO, Oncor to send help to Carolinas in advance of hurricane

LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - It's an "all hands on deck" response to Hurricane Florence even though it has not yet to make landfall. And that response reaches all the way to East Texas.

SWEPCO External Affairs Manager Mark Robinson spoke with a lineman on a power pole repair job in Longview.

"I heard they're sending some folks out in the morning down to Corpus," Robinson said.

The plan was to send workers east but with a tropical weather system in the Gulf, there may need for flexibility in the plan.

"Now it looks like we're going to be sending a complement of folks down to Corpus Christie as early as tomorrow," Robinson stated.

Trucks of all sizes will head out, manned by up to 15 crews.

"That's a pretty good amount. We always want to keep some folks at home. Make sure that if we have any issues here that we've taken care of those as well," Robinson said.

Robinson said they used to wait until after the storm hit to commit to helping.

"And then you decide how many resources, and then you head that way. Unfortunately, that means people are out of power longer, so we kind of try to gauge where we're going, how bad it's going to be and try to get there before it happens," Robinson explained.

Worker's shifts have been capped off at sixteen hours. At that point it's time to rest.

"Their job is very dangerous, and we gotta make sure that they're safe, and it doesn't do anybody any favors if anybody gets hurt," Robinson stated.

They load the trucks with poles, wire and repair equipment.

"The food and water is usually taken care of by the folks on the ground there," Robinson revealed."It's the equivalent of helping your neighbor out. You know, if there's something that goes wrong at their house, you run and help, and they'd do it for us and they have in the past, and so we're excited about going down and helping."

The electrical workers' needs are met so they can meet the needs of the public.

Oncor says they are also sending crews who will head east to the Carolinas. The East Texas Oncor crews will also leave on Thursday.

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