On Monday, September 11, 40 line personnel from Iowa's electric cooperatives headed south to help with recovery efforts in the wake of Hurricane Irma. ECI REC's Travis Schellhorn and Ben Donnelly headed to Nahunta, Georgia, where they are currently helping Okefenoke Rural Electric Membership Corporation crews clean up debris and restore power to cooperative members.
So far, Schellhorn and Donnelly have focused on re-energizing lines and clearing downed trees. The duo worked near the Florida-Georgia border on Wednesday with a group from Linn County REC, which is based in Marion, Iowa. On Thursday, Schellhorn and Donnelly traveled to Kingsland, Georgia. This time, they teamed up with Prairie Energy Cooperative of Clarion, Iowa. Before the crews arrived, approximately 7,800 Okefenoke REMC members in the Kingsland area were without power.
Power is being restored to the service territory more quickly than anticipated. While Schellhorn and Donnelly were scheduled to stay in Georgia for two weeks, they could be heading back to Iowa as early as September 16 or 17. In the meantime, they are very thankful for the hospitality they have been shown by Okefenoke REMC personnel.