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Grayson-Collin Electric Cooperative returns from Hurricane Laura clean up

Published: Sep. 15, 2020 at 11:18 PM CDT
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SHERMAN, Texas (KXII) -

It’s been less than a month since Hurricane Laura ravaged Texas and Louisiana, destroying home and knocking out power to hundreds of thousands on the coast.

In it’s aftermath, with communities off the Texas coast left battered by winds and flooding the Grayson-Collin Electric Cooperative (GCEC) answered the call to help.

They sent two crews of workers to the gulf to help with relief efforts. Charlie Powell was part of the first group of ten power linemen from the company that went down to help.

“You go in expecting you’re going to be there awhile," Powell said. “Anytime a co-op from the Texas Electric Cooperative in the state of Texas needs help and we can provide the help we will most always send what we have and fit their needs. Because their members need help, just like our members do and they will return the favor to us.”

Marty Jones, manager of constriction at GCEC, said the mornings started at 6 am where they would load up their materials for the day and work until 11 am or noon, take a lunch break, then work until 9:30 or 10 at night.

“A lot of time they would have tree limbs laid across the line or have them pinned down to the ground. Sometimes they were broken so we’d have to pick the line back up,” Jones said. “Towards the end we had a few broke poles that we were having to change out so we had all of our equipment to change out poles also.”

GCEC was one of several different co-ops from around the state helping to restore power to the area.

“Once you get the lights back on for people that have been off for four or five days and just to see the expressions on their face and the ‘thank you’s’ that they give you it’s all worth while," Jones said.

The team worked from August 27th to September 8th and headed home last Wednesday. With Hurricane Sally heading towards the gulf coast they want other electric companies to know they’re here to help.

“With all of our storms that we’ve had recently, our growth and the fact that we’ve had about one-third of our workforce down there we’re going to sit out at least for a week or two and let everybody get their legs under them,” said David McGinnis, CEO and general manager of GCEC. “If they need help, or if Sally causes more damage then we’ll certainly heed that call.”

Copyright 2020 KXII. All rights reserved.

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