With Hurricane Henri approaching from the south last week, New Hampshire Electric Cooperative proactively sought assistance via the cooperative mutual-aid agreement. Without hesitation, Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative assembled four two-person crews, plus an equipment operator with a requested line truck in anticipation of the need to set poles.
According to B.J. Seamans, MEC vice president of engineering and operations, the nine crew members departed the evening of Aug. 20, spending the night in Fredericksburg and arriving in Londonderry, N.H., on Aug. 21. As of Aug. 23, no storm-related outages were reported. MEC crews were released and began their journey home that afternoon.
The storm strengthened to a Category 1 hurricane before making landfall in Rhode Island on Aug. 22, but quickly weakened to a tropical depression later in the day.
“MEC was proud to answer the call for assistance from one of our sister cooperatives in New Hampshire,” said MEC President and CEO John C. Lee Jr. “Cooperation among cooperatives is a foundational principle we follow, and, in addition to that, helping someone restore electricity to homes and businesses is just the right thing to do.”
Making the trip from MEC were Joe Hostetter, underground/apparatus foreman; Kyle Hadley, ground technician; Paul Underwood, line technician; B.J. Hensley, apprentice technician; Jamie Walden, line foreman; Leathern Yeatts, apprentice technician; Kevin Haskins, line technician; Walker Cline, ground technician; and Zach Hancock, equipment operator. Due to flooding, crews were rerouted on the way home, but arrived safely on the afternoon of Aug. 24.
—Report by Jim Robertson, Member Projects Specialist, VMDAEC
Above photo: Mecklenburg Electric line crews traveled to New Hampshire to help a sister cooperative.