Utility Supply and Construction Company personnel ready to work after Hurricane Florence

Crews from Utility Supply and Construction Company based in Reed City work on power restoration following a major storm. Crews from the area again preparing for restoration efforts for Hurricane Florence. (Courtesy photo)

MECOSTA, OSCEOLA COUNTIES — As many of the residents along the coasts of the Carolinas evaded Hurricane Florence’s landfall today, there already are local crew members ready to help in restoring the power to those affected by the massive storm.

Crews from Utility Supply and Construction Company based in Reed City, which includes Hydaker-Wheatlake, Crossroads Mobile Maintenance and Power Line Supply, were already there, according to Jaime Koetje, human resource officer.

“We actually have a whole slew of crew members already down there in Knoxville, Tennessee, in West Virginia and the Carolinas,” she said Thursday morning. “They’re holding tight right now until the storm hits to see how we’re sitting.”

Koetje said the company has approximately 113 crew members ready to get to work as soon as it is safe, including safety and support crews, project managers and more. More crew members could be sent.

“While most people are driving away from the storm, we’re driving headlong into it,” she said. “The guys are happy to go down and help and they take a lot of pride in it.”

Many of the crew members already have had a busy September, as storms over the Labor Day weekend struck northern Michigan, Koetje said.

“Many of them just got off that work and now are going right back to work,” she said.

Among the crew members who have made the trip are safety personnel from as far away as Kentucky, as well as mechanics from Iowa, Koetje said.

“We like to keep the guys working as safely and efficiently as possible,” she said. “For many of them, something like this becomes personal. It’s hard to think of all those displaced people after a storm like this. We hope we can make it a little bit easier for them to come home.”

There is no timeframe for how long crews will be working, but Koetje said crews will be there as long as they are needed.

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Posted by Brandon Fountain

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