PRECO Sends Replacement Workers to Restore Power in Panhandle

Peace River Electric Cooperative (PRECO) is sending nine lineworkers to Florida’s Panhandle to replace fellow crewmen who have worked for 10 days restoring power in the hurricane-stricken area. The group will provide power restoration assistance to Wewahitchka-based Gulf Coast Electric Cooperative (GFEC), a utility serving about 25,000 meters in Bay, Calhoun, Gulf, Jackson, Walton and Washington counties. Lying just north of where Hurricane Michael made landfall on October 10, GFEC suffered catastrophic losses to their electric system.

“In times of severe damage and loss, electric co-ops help electric co-ops restore power,” says Van Crawford, vice president of operations. “Working 16 or more hours a day takes a toll on our linemen, so PRECO will keep sending replacements until the job is done.”

The crew of nine workers will join three PRECO support staff bringing the total to 12 employees on site.

PRECO, a Touchstone Energy® distribution electric cooperative headquartered in Wauchula, Florida, provides electric service and energy solutions to more than 40,000 member/consumers in 10 Florida counties in central Florida: Brevard, DeSoto, Hardee, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Manatee, Osceola, Polk and Sarasota Counties. Through almost 3,500 miles of power lines, the electric cooperative has been in business since 1940 as a member-owned, not-for-profit organization.

PRECO is sending 9 linemen to the Florida Panhandle to replace fellow crew members who have served 10 days. (front, from left) Matt Chapman, Danny Turner, Justin Brown, Tanner Smith (back) Clay Taylor, George Porter, Jeremy Almaraz, Tyler Wise (unavailable, Greg Gilmore)