BY JEFF MCCALLISTER
NIGHT LIGHTS WENT OUT IN GEORGIA THE
Ohio crews jumped to the aid of southern cooperatives after September’s hurricanes left half a million without power
huck Chafin has worked on electric lines with the South Central Power Company for 18 years, during which time he’s seen his share of power outages and general destruction both in Ohio, and beyond, caused by extremes in weather. So while he wasn’t particularly surprised at the damage that he and 72 other lineworkers and supervisors from Ohio’s electric cooperative network found in Georgia in the wake of Hurricane Irma in early September, it still presented a big job. “There were poles down, conductor line laying on the ground covered by fallen trees, and we heard stories about transformers swinging from broken poles,” says Chafin, director of field operations at South Central Power. “They said it was the worst storm to come through there in 25 years.” Chafin was among the 40 workers from Ohio tasked with helping Georgia’s TriCounty Electric Membership Corporation, in the central part of the state, to restore electricity to more than 18,000 members — more than 85 percent of its membership — who lost power as the result of the storm. The South Central crew was joined by crews from Buckeye Rural Electric Cooperative, Butler Rural Electric Cooperative, Consolidated Electric Cooperative, The Frontier Power Company, Guernsey-Muskingum Electric Cooperative, Pioneer Electric Cooperative, and Washington Electric Cooperative giving assistance at Tri-County.
OHIO COOPERATIVE LIVING • NOVEMBER 2017 LIVING • NOVEMBER 2017