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JEC crews helping restore power in South Carolina after Hurricane Matthew

"Cooperation among cooperatives" is one of the seven cooperative business principles. When a hurricane recently hit East Coast states, that principle had a name, Matthew, and was headed to South Carolina.


As Hurricane Matthew continued to storm up the East Coast, twelve Jackson Energy line techs and a mechanic packed gear and equipment as they loaded trucks to go to Berkeley Electric Cooperative to assist with post-Matthew power restoration. The seven trucks lined up at the London District Office to make the journey and included a lead truck bearing the name Matthew on the front bumper, spelled out in black electric tape.


"Our crews will be working 16-hour days," said Jackson Energy Operations Superintendent Tim Wilson, "and they should arrive on Saturday afternoon and begin work on Sunday morning."


The line techs include Shane Vickers, Jonathan Tillery, Marlon Coffey, Kris Cunagin, Billy McKinney, Terry Nichols, Andy Bales, Jeremy Rayborn, Jason Montgomery, Brent Johnson, Nathan Riley and John Parrett. Mechanic Sandy McDaniel is also making the trip in case any of the seven trucks need repairs.


This isn't the first time Jackson Energy crews have provided assistance to other cooperatives following major storms. Line techs from the McKee-based cooperative helped restore service in Mississippi following Hurricane Katrina. They also assisted with power restoration in South Carolina in 1996 following Hurricane Fran. They also regularly provide extra manpower to other Kentucky cooperatives following wind storms, snow storms and ice storms. 


Wilson had no estimation on how long the crews would be in South Carolina because the hurricane was still making it's way into Georgia and hadn't hit the Carolinas as of Friday afternoon. He advised them to call the South Carolina co-op to get weather updates. "You're supposed to have rooms when you get there," he said, "but then you may not have power." 


Jackson Energy President & CEO Carol Wright sent them off with a final message as Wilson ended the storm briefing, "Be careful and stay safe," she said. "We want you back just like you're leaving here today."

Jackson Energy line techs and a mechanic head to South Carolina to assist with power restoration following Hurricane Matthew. From left to right, Terry Nichols, Billy McKinney, Jonathan Tillery, Andy Bales, Marlon Coffey, Kris Cunagin, Shane Vickers, Brent Johnson, John Parrett, Nathan Riley and Jason Montgomery, In back, Jeremy Rayborn and Sandy McDaniel.