Crews headed north

Published 12:05 am Tuesday, October 30, 2012

While the wind caused problems for any folk who were outside at some point Monday, it proved to be helpful for Andalusia kicker Courey Hopkins. The wind was blowing toward the south end zone, where Hopkins was practicing his extra point attempts. He said the ball carried a little further because of the extra push from the wind.



Hurricane Sandy, called a “frankenstorm” as it churns toward the East Coast, made landfall Monday as a Category 1 storm.

It was described as a hurricane “wrapped in a winter storm” that threatened 60 million people in the most heavily populated corridor in the nation and could leave more than $1 billion in damages in its wake.

Hours before the storm made landfall, high winds had already knocked out power to more than half a million customers in several states by mid-day Monday.

Locally, crews with Covington Electric Cooperative were on the road Monday morning to help in the area’s recovery process. From the Andalusia area participating were Randal Helms, Clint Veasey, Roy Ben Dorsey, Ronnie Dixon, Glen Cottle, Michael Grantham, Kevin Anderson and Harry Smith.

“We are so proud to have knowledgeable trained employees who are willing to go help our co-op neighbors along the coast during this critical time,” said Alan Thrash, CEC vice president of operations. “CEC has benefited from outside assistance during times of disaster, and we are always ready to return the favor when called upon.”

The men will join other crews from Sand Mountain, Covington and Southern Pine electric cooperatives are heading to Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative in Virginia, while crews from Cherokee and Marshall-DeKalb electric cooperatives will travel to assist nearby Central Virginia Electric Cooperative.

Other local electrical workers ready to help included Wesley Hilson of Andalusia and Josh Hunt of Florala, both who work with Associated Diversified Services Inc.

Hunt left Friday, headed to New York.

On Monday, he and fellow crewmen were staged at the Hampton Inn on Staten Island, N.Y. Hunt’s company also has crews stationed in Virginia, North Carolina and Washington, D.C.

“Right now, we’re waiting for the storm to pass so we can go to work,” Hunt said. “We’ll be assisting Con Edison, the largest power company in New York, after the storm passes.”

Hunt said Con Edison crews will assess the damage and then send Hunt’s crew to the hardest hit areas.

Just before lunch Monday, it was reported that more than 20,000 customers were without power in the New York City area. The number is expected to rise as the storm makes landfall.