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Entergy crews head to East Coast ahead of Hurricane Matthew

JACKSON, MISS– Entergy crews have left the Magnolia state ahead of Hurricane Matthew, a category four storm which is bearing down on the East Coast. 

30 workers left Wednesday, another 58 left Thursday.

Wednesday’s crew left for Florida.

Originally, the Thursday workers were assigned to South Carolina–but after new hurricane predictions were released, the assignment was changed.

Either way, there’s work to do. Without a set assignment, the workers still pulled out and headed east Thursday morning.

“We don’t know where we’re going yet,” convoy leader and head of safety Mitch Wooten told the men at a safety meeting before leaving. “But we’re headed for Atlanta.”

Wooten said with the storm bearing down, hotel rooms are filling up fast– supervisors back at home will have to make arrangements for the crews as they travel to Atlanta, not knowing if that’s where they’ll actually stay.

The call for an assignment could come in as early as lunch time, but Entergy spokesperson Mara Hartman said there is one call that ranks high above the others.

“Best case scenario is that they’ll get the call from their supervisor to come on home, because the damage then won’t be expected to be as bad.” Hartman said.

Wooten spoke to the media about the task at hand, and the complications of an assignment such as this.

 

Without arrangements for hotel rooms, and with the unpredictability of a storm’s impact affecting the establishment of a base of operations, the workers have found themselves in a different sort of survival mode from those evacuating or bracing against Hurricane Matthew.

Even with the struggles and the logistics, Wooten said it is well worth it.

“These people appreciate us,” said Wooten. “They’ll cook what’s being defrosted since the power’s out and bring us barbecue..they’ll feed us. They’re glad to see us there. That makes it worth it.”

Safety has been a primary concern for the workers, said Hartman, as they work with live electricity and travel. Before they departed, the men met for a safety meeting, and for prayer.

The trucks rolled out around 8am Thursday morning.

News Mississippi will be following the crews, and will update as more information is released.

 

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