CNN reports Hurricane Michael is the strongest storm to make landfall in the continental United States since Hurricane Andrew in 1992.

Linemen from Webster Electric Cooperative in Marshfield pray before their deployment to Florida on October 10, 2018 (photo courtesy of Paul Newton and the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives)

The Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives (AMEC) has sent 123 linemen from 23 cooperatives to Alabama to stage, in a safe place. AMEC spokesman Jim McCarty tells Missourinet those linemen will be heading to the Florida Panhandle community of Quincy, which is near Tallahassee.

“Just as soon as it’s safe for them (Missouri line workers) to travel, they’ll be heading down to Florida,” McCarty says. “Just as soon as those trucks roll in and they can get a safety briefing, they’ll get out and start turning on the lights again.”

Linemen from as far away as United Electric Cooperative in northwest Missouri’s Maryville and Tri-County Electric Cooperative in northeast Missouri’s Lancaster are heading to Florida.

McCarty expects the Missouri line workers to arrive in Florida by Friday.

Florida Governor Rick Scott describes Hurricane Michael as “the worst storm that the Florida Panhandle has ever seen.” McCarty says the Missouri line workers will work in swampy conditions in the Quincy area, adding that it will be difficult to get trucks into the impacted areas.

“Likely they’ll see poles that are snapped off, they’ll be quite a few of those. A lot of trees will fly into the lines. Sometimes the biggest challenge is just untangling the mess,” says McCarty.

McCarty is requesting prayers for the workers, saying they’ll see damage that’s much more extensive than South Carolina last month. He notes Missouri crews also responded to Florida after 2017’s Hurricane Irma.

October 2018 map courtesy of Jim McCarty at the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives

“And those Florida crews what they saw a lot of were spiders, great big spiders and they were everywhere,” McCarty says. “And they’ll (Missouri crews) always probably have somebody watching for alligators.”

AMEC also sent 165 line workers to South Carolina in September, after Hurricane Florence.


Click here to listen to the full interview between Missourinet’s Brian Hauswirth and Jim McCarty:

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