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SSEMC deploys crews to Maryland to assist with power outages due to Hurricane Sandy

COVINGTON -- Snapping Shoals EMC crews, as well as those from other EMCs across Georgia, have departed to Maryland to help restore power in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

Those deployed from SSEMC include Bruce Watts, Clint Ellis, Anthony Spruling, Ryan Mathis, Jonathan Plunkett, Micahel Cronan, Richie Clark and Jason Powell.

"The EMC crews will rely on their extensive experience in restoring power following a variety of weather events, including ice storms, tornadoes and hurricanes," said SSEMC Public Affairs Director Leigh-Ann Burgess. "In recent years, EMC crews have worked alongside co-ops in South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Kentucky, Virginia and Florida."

According to Jim Wright, vice president of training, education and safety for Georgia EMC, and the statewide crew assistance coordinator for the EMCs, Georgia's co-ops have been in constant contact with co-ps in the path of Hurricane Sandy.

"It took just one phone call from Maryland to get our crews and equipment moving in their direction," Wright said. "We've also had preliminary discussions with several other states and additional crews will move out immediately if we receive a call for help."

Destructive winds and heavy rainfall are a great threat during hurricanes and its impact has extended across a widespread area, blowing electric poles and structures to the ground and knocking trees onto power lines, shutting off power to man customers.

While Wright said he can't say specifically in what order power will be restored, many utilities follow a standard industry practice to repair and energize its lines. First, feeder and primary lines are repaired; then secondary and service lies next.

"This method restores power to the greatest number of people in the shortest amount of time," he said.

SSEMC is a non-profit, consumer-owned cooperative headquartered in Covington. They provide service for about 95,000 households, as well as commercial and industrial consumers in portions of Rockdale, Henry, Newton, DeKalb, Butts, Walton, Jasper and Morgan counties.