NORTH CAROLINA — First responders, power companies, and nonprofits from the Bay area continue to aid clean-up, rescue, and power restoration efforts in the Carolinas following Hurricane Florence.
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When the storm started making its way toward the coast, Florida crews from Duke Energy started packing and preparing.
"Some of them are lineman, some are engineers," said Duke Energy spokesperson Ana Gibbs. "It really takes a small village, or some may consider a large army, to get this restoration process moving."
Gibbs has been traveling with crews as they put in up to 16 hours a day working to restore power to the millions impacted by the massive storm.
"Even after the actual Hurricane Florence passed through, we had several days of rain that just didn't stop, so a lot of the rivers in this area continue to keep rising," Gibbs said.
Crew leaders said they’re used to traveling to devastated areas, but each storm is different. They said the heavy rains and floods caused by Hurricane Florence have been the biggest challenge.
"I've been here going on 39 years," crew leader Jim Ginley said. "Puerto Rico and this deployment has been distinctly different — the main difference is much more rain damage, water damage, preventing us to access the areas that we have downed power lines."
Many major roads and interstates are still underwater. Gibbs said their lineman have even made rescues, and they’ll keep doing whatever it takes to help residents recover.
"We've had two different cases in the last few days where linemen have literally saved lives because of the flood waters and cars that have become stuck floating in waters," she said.