JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — JEA crews landed in Foley, Alabama yesterday to help restore power and water to the community after Hurricane Sally made landfall earlier this week.
JEA Linecrew Supervisor, Matt Stafford is part of that crew. He says they may be there for two weeks or until the area gets their power back.
“We’re still working on mainline structures, putting up all their circuits to come right out of. They’ve even got transmission circuits that feed into the substation, then come out of there and feed to your homes and businesses. We’re still getting mainline circuits back in right now. We’re not so much concentrating on, you know, individual’s homes just yet or transformers or single businesses," Stafford said. "We’re trying to get the infrastructure back up. Gas stations, hospitals, emergency management, places like hotels, anywhere that provides a service that can help somebody. That’s what we’re concentrating on at this time.”
Stafford said that that most interesting things he has seen so far has been a poll stuck on top of a billboard, boats farther inland, and an entire orchard of pecan trees laying flat.
When it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic, Stafford says that being primarily outside has helped. They wear gloves and masks when in close contact.
JEA says they’ve had four total aid requests this hurricane season.
“It’s always a great feeling when you get to go and help somebody else. The people are real appreciative when you show up. Everybody’s welcomed us with open arms. Not only the utility, but the customers here,” Stafford said.
Stafford is part of a 29-manned crew that have gone out to help with damage. 26 people are electric crewmembers and three people are fleet support personnel.