Local utility company sends 70 employees to midwest

BRANDON, MS -- Thousands are still without power after the severe storms and utility crews from the First Coast are lending a hand. Dozens of employees from a local utility company are in Mississippi to help restore power.

Seventy employees and 55 pieces of equipment from Heart Utilities based out of Jacksonville were deployed to Mississippi to help local crews restore power.

"A lot of wind damage, poles broken, wire down everywhere," said Vernon Mummaw IV, during a phone interview with First Coast News.

Mummaw IV of Jacksonville and his crews are working 16 to 18 hours a day in Brandon, Mississippi, to help turn the power back on.

"It's very similar to Hurricane style damage, a lot of wind damage, trees fallen and pulling down the wire and fallen on homes, and breaking the poles off," added Mummaw.

In the last five months, 120 employees have traveled to several states, according to the Vice President of the company, Brandon Young.

"We've done it multiple times this year. Last year we were gone for Christmas in Michigan," said Mummaw. "You know my 3 year old was opening presents and I was out turning on power lines as well as all the other lineman with families."

JEA currently has nine crews of 47 employees helping to restore power in Georgia. The company's spokesperson says they have not yet sent crews to the Midwest.


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