published Monday, July 11th, 2011

Utility line crews pass along help

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CLEVELAND, Tenn. — For local utility line crews, one good turn deserves another.

Dozens of electric line crews from across Tennessee, North Carolina, Kentucky and Florida came here after the April 27 tornadoes and storms. They worked alongside Cleveland Utilities linemen to restore electric power to all customers within 10 days.

In June, Cleveland Utilities’ line crews were able to pass along the good deed to others.

Nine linemen and four trucks were dispatched June 19 to North Georgia after a severe storm, said Dennis Daniel, Cleveland Utilities Electric Division manager.

Six linemen and three trucks were sent to Chattanooga to lend a hand later in the month.

“We were fortunate that other utilities were willing and able to help us,” Daniel said, referring to the April 27 aftermath. “We are hoping now that Mother Nature will give us all a break for a while.”

Line crews have a history of responding to neighbors in need, said Cleveland Utilities General Manager Tom Wheeler.

He told a recent utility board meeting that volunteers usually remain on their own company’s payroll but that the host utility pays any expenses, including food and lodging.

After the tornado power outages were restored, Wheeler said personal “thank you” notes were sent to each of the 104 volunteers who came here to help.

Working alongside Cleveland Utilities’ own linemen, the joint effort brought electric power back to all customers more quickly, Wheeler said.

about Randall Higgins...

Randall Higgins covers news in Cleveland, Tenn., for the Times Free Press. He started work with the Chattanooga Times in 1977 and joined the staff of the Chattanooga Times Free Press when the Free Press and Times merged in 1999. Randall has covered Southeast Tennessee, Northwest Georgia and Alabama. He now covers Cleveland and Bradley County and the neighboring region. Randall is a Cleveland native. He has bachelor’s degree from Tennessee Technological University. His awards ...

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