Missouri electricians head East to bring hurricane relief

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JEFFERSON CITY - More than 160 Missouri electric cooperative linemen will be on the road Friday heading for South Carolina. 33 cooperatives in the state will be sending supplies and personnel to provide assistance in the wake of Hurricane Florence. 

Some of these cooperatives include the Boone Electric Cooperative, Macon Electric Cooperative and the Central Electric Power Cooperative based in Jefferson City. 

The Macon and Central Electric Power Cooperatives will be sending employees early Friday morning. 

Manager of Member Services at Boone Electric Cooperative, Laura Baker, said they will keep the departure time of their employees confidential for safety reasons. 

The Central Electric Power Cooperative said it will not send linemen but will send a resource it said is "very valuable" in severe weather situations: diesel fuel. 

Diesel fuel is similar to the oil needed for equipment used in electrical sub stations, which are often large fenced-in towers that act as power sources for neighborhoods. 

Central Electric Power Cooperative has sent resources to a hurricane-affected area before when Hurricane Urma hit Central Florida. 

"Last time at about this time we went to Florida--that was our first time, I think we have learned some things since then so I think we are better prepared," Director of Transmission Operations Adam Weber said. 

Central Electric Power Cooperative will send four sub station mechanics in two trucks that will carry 6000 gallons of diesel fuel. 

Many of the cooperatives will be stopping in Cookeville, Tennessee before continuing on to Kingstree, South Carolina. 

"We want to just help the people out, just like we want here," Weber said. "We want their outages to be as short as possible." 

The trucks are expected to leave around 8 a.m. Friday morning. 

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