Huntsville Utilities deploys crew to help with hurricane relief

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As Hurricane Michael moves in quickly, cities across southeast Alabama are preparing, as Alabama is under a state of emergency. Huntsville Utilities has a crew in Troy to aid in the recovery efforts, and more crews could soon be sent. The state EMA director has said in addition to damaged structures and debris, widespread power outages are expected in Alabama.

“[It’s a] very serious storm,” said Joe Gehrdes, Director of Communications and Public Relations for Huntsville Utilities. “So the first danger is any overhead service, which is common along the coast because it’s difficult to bear utilities when you’re that low to sea level.”

Huntsville Utilities got the call asking for help on Monday from Electric Cities of Alabama as well as from the city of Troy. On Tuesday, they sent a crew to Troy who is now in place, ready to help wherever help will be needed.

“When you get the call, you want to respond when you can because some day it’s going to be you making that call, and you’ll want all the help you can get,” he said.

Now, Joe says it looks like Huntsville Utilities will be sending more help — not just Alabama, but our neighbors as well. 

“We have to wait and see what happens, and you have to keep those resources out of harm’s way,” Joe said. “It’s a reactive situation. The best we can do is place some resources preemptively, which is what is happening now, and the storm is getting ready to make landfall.”

From there, he says it will take some time to assess where the needs are the greatest, and that’s where the crews will go. As soon as Hurricane Michael passes, they will be able to help.

Huntsville Utilities wants to emphasize as a reminder for your safety that if you see a power line down,  don’t touch it. It could be an active wire, and that’s extremely dangerous. 

Crews from Decatur Utilities are also on standby and ready to assist after Hurricane Michael moves through the Florida Panhandle. Once notified by Electric Cities of Alabama of their destination, Decatur Utilities crews will head to that location and begin helping with repairs.

©TEGNA Inc. 2019. All Rights Reserved.

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