Local energy employees help areas hit by Hurricane Matthew

Local energy employees help areas hit by Hurricane Matthew

WICHITA COUNTY, TX (KAUZ) - About 450 Oncor employees and contractors were sent out around six Thursday morning to areas in the hurricane's path to help restore power, and about ten of those workers are from Texoma.

Around five Friday evening Florida Governor Rick Scott announced one million homes were without power in that state, and when it comes to natural disasters those impacted by the storms, like some Florida residents, need all the help they can get to get electricity back up and running.
Gordon Drake, Oncor's Area Manager in Wichita Falls, said employees volunteer to go to these areas and are usually sent to locations with the most damage.

He adds they will most likely direct the assistance to Florida and Georgia. However, if called on to go further up the east coast those workers will go.

"Anytime you have a nationwide event of national disaster, it's part of a Mutual Aid Assistance Program that Oncor participates in with our partner utilities. They assist us as well as we assist them, when called upon if we can send the crews to go assist," said Drake.
Drake said the utility companies they are going to help helped them in the 2013 ice storm.
Drake himself lent a helping hand during Hurricane Ike, Katrina and Superstorm Sandy.

He said the Oncor employees who went to the areas impacted by the storm will be restoring building lines where the pole lines go down due to high winds, removing trees from the lines, pulling up wire and whatever else is needs to be done to get the electricity back on.

As many know, resources can get scarce during big storms. Drake said that is why Oncor brings their own supplies like fuel and food to support their employees.
Drake said helping areas in need is important, but adds Oncor also makes sure to leave resources available in Texoma in case any power outages happen, like the ones we saw from Thursday night's storms.

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