LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - The job of restoring power to Hurricane Irma-ravaged areas in Georgia and South Carolina is far from over.
Help has arrived from Arkansas as crews from the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas (174 men) start pitching in to get the lights back on.
Five cooperatives (C&L, Ouachita, Ozarks, Southwest and Woodruff) are working in South Carolina assisting Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative and Berkeley Electric Cooperative. As of Wednesday morning, South Carolina was reporting roughly 15,000 still without power, but expected to probably have things wrapped up soon. According to mutual aid coordinator Kevin Riddle, with Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. of Little Rock (AECI), the crews will then, most likely, travel to Georgia or Florida, if crews are needed.
Riddle also said that there are six cooperatives (Carroll, Craighead, Clay County, First, North Arkansas and South Central) working or traveling to Georgia to assist Washington EMC, Ocmulgee EMC, Sumter EMC, Jefferson Energy, Excelsior EMC and Central Georgia EMC. As of Wednesday morning, Georgia still had roughly 225,000 still without power, but stated things were going well for them and that Georgia Electric Cooperatives would potentially be moving crews around in state as needed or be reaching out to Florida statewide to offer crews if they were still in need.
Officials say the Arkansas crews are in good spirits and glad they are finally getting to work and helping restore service.
The AECI construction crews are working in the Marathon, Florida in the keys for Florida Keys Electric Cooperative. AECI row crew members are assisting Georgia Power.
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