Crews preparing for Sandy’s threat
by By DELANEY WALKER Banner Staff Writer
Oct 29, 2012 | 1655 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Cleveland Utility Line Crew left Sunday morning to aid areas stricken by Hurricane Sandy. The crew departed Cleveland at 10 a.m. Saturday morning. They traveled to Dover, Del., to wait for further instructions. In the photo are Max McCann, left, Ernie Cannon, John McClain, Travis Ownby and Steve Kiser.
Cleveland Utility Line Crew left Sunday morning to aid areas stricken by Hurricane Sandy. The crew departed Cleveland at 10 a.m. Saturday morning. They traveled to Dover, Del., to wait for further instructions. In the photo are Max McCann, left, Ernie Cannon, John McClain, Travis Ownby and Steve Kiser.
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Cleveland Utilities, Volunteer Energy Cooperative, and Emergency Medical Services for Bradley County are looking north in response to hurricane Sandy’s increasingly threatening activity.

Representatives from each company said they are not expecting the storm’s impact to hit Cleveland or Bradley County.

“We are in the monitoring stage right now,” said John Selvidge, Cleveland service area manager at VEC. “We are waiting to see what the storm will do up north.”

Selvidge said the south could be effected by strong winds.

“We want to be prepared for whatever happens ... A lot of strong winds will be travelling through here. We will have to watch that real close,” Selvidge said.

Emergency services in Bradley County are not gearing up for the storm, according to Danny Lawson, director of Bradley County Emergency Medical Services. Lawson said services would be able to mobilize quickly for any change in weather.

“It would benefit all of us to be prepared for a short-term emergency,” Lawson said.

Equipment at headquarters will be checked in light of the upcoming storm.

“The storm will primarily miss us, although it will effect our neighbors,” Lawson said. “It is good to have emergency resources on hand and to reevaluate your own equipment. For example, double checking to see if the batteries are in and working.”

Lawson said any emergency would bring about a coordinated response by Bradley County’s emergency services. He said everybody from the fire departments to the Sheriff’s office would be involved.

“We have made it through some pretty tremendous storms in recent years. Our response was basically by the book,” Lawson said. “We are staying prepared for whatever happens...Certainly we are opened minded to assist neighboring communities who might be in need.”

General Manager at Cleveland Utilities, Tom Wheeler, said the company is not expecting too much impact in Cleveland. Their main concern is sending some men to aid crews in the north.

“A line crew with five men and two vehicles left on Saturday at 11 a.m. to go to Dover, Delaware. They requested help because it looked like Dover would get the brunt of the storm. Now it appears the storm will be a little north of Dover,” Wheeler said.

The line crew is assisting the Dover Electric Department.

“Extra workers are trying to get into position before the storm hits. We thought it might be hard to get resources in after the storm comes through,” Wheeler said.

Several workers from VEC and EMS have been sent north, as well.

“We released contractors to go up north and assist other utility companies,” Selvidge said. “Depending on the need, we may send in-house men.”

Lawson said a worker from EMS was sent north to assist in the oncoming storm. All three men said outside emergency relief teams offered much aid with tornados in recent years.

“When the April 2011 tornados hit, we had many crews helping us,” Wheeler said. “This is just a way for us to assist others.”

He said he would not be surprised if CU sent ride-away-cleaning crews up north later this week. The crews would clear and pick up trees.