Hurricane Michael wrought damage throughout the southern Virginia territory, causing massive power outages to over 80,000 members located throughout Virginia, with Mecklenburg, Northern Neck, and Southside Electric Cooperatives hit hardest.
Once the hurricane had past, Choptank Electric Cooperative crews leapt into action to aid other members who were without power. Crews were sent to Southside Electric Cooperative to begin restoration efforts on Friday, October 12 and three crews left Saturday, October 13, to aid Northern Neck Electric Cooperative.
For five days, both crews worked long hours removing massive trees and rebuilding damaged lines. Jimmy Harvey, Crew Supervisor for our Southside crews, said, “The damage was unbelievable. Hundreds of poles were broken from toppled trees and wires were down.”
But our crews were up to the challenge of restoring power as quickly and safely as possible for our sister co-ops in Virginia. Working 16 hour days, they stayed until the last member was restored.
“The members were so appreciative of us,” said Jason Gaskill, Crew Supervisor for our Northern Neck crews. “We had one member pay for our entire group’s lunch one day anonymously. Everyone would stop and tell us ‘thank you.’ We are just glad we could offer our help and restore power to other members.”
Our own members were so appreciative of our crews efforts on social media. Daniel Burt said, “Be Safe!!! Thank you for all you guys do! Awesome Team!!” and Penny Sherwood said, “Praying for the safety of our wonderful Choptank Crews! You guys are the BEST!!!”
As our sixth Cooperative Principle, “Cooperation Among Cooperatives” is part of what makes us a Co-op. Putting all members first, every day, is just what we do.