Entergy and Air National Guard of Arkansas provide hurricane relief
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KATV) —
A multitude of organizations from across the nation including Arkansas are assisting with hurricane relief efforts on the Carolina coast.
Entergy Arkansas deployed 100 line workers on Tuesday to assist Duke Energy with operations as Hurricane Florence barrels toward coastal cities, forcing millions to evacuate.
"They're evacuating, we're infiltrating," said Joe Frans, of the Batesville Entergy Arkansas team.
Frans spoke with KATV from outside a hotel in Greenville, South Carolina, on Thursday, expressing anticipation to begin working.
He noted the morale is high and they're ready to respond to whatever Florence has to offer. There's a possibility the crew will be sent to Wilmington in the coming days as the brunt of the storm approaches.
"We'll get in there and assess the area and see what we need to do to fix it whether it's replacing poles or picking up wires or whatever needs to be done," Frans said.
The 188th Wing Airmen of the Arkansas Air National Guard is also playing a prominent role with relief efforts pre and post landfall.
The guard is utilizing software that tracks image data collected from aircraft and satellites. It's intel that could potentially save lives.
"All this information is funneled into this unclassified system and they can then exploit the data and send it back to North Carolina and give them products and tell them, hey this is where you might want to look out for storm surge or these types of bridges are being flooded," said Cpt. David Smith.
The mission is based out of Fort Smith and continue through October 3 unless further required.
Whether it's remotely in Arkansas or on the coast of an impending hurricane, Entergy and the National Guard are prepared.
"We'd rather be proactive and be ready if it fizzles out and doesn't cause as much damage as they think it might, then great but if not, we're here to support," Smith said.
"It's a pretty good feeling when you're helping people out and getting their lights back on whether it's our customers or theirs, it don't matter," Frans said.