OUC’s power restoration crew will remain in High Point, N.C., as long as it’s needed.

An 11-member OUC crew departed Orlando early Saturday on a 600-mile road trip to High Point, N.C., to assist the city with power restoration efforts in the wake of Winter Storm Izzy. Traveling in a convoy of 10 vehicles, the team is expected to reach its destination before the storm brings snow and ice to the Carolinas on Sunday.

The deployment is part of the country’s municipal utility mutual aid network, which has been activated as the major winter storm sweeps through the Midwest, South and East during the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend. The OUC crew will remain in High Point as long as it’s needed. While there, crew members will observe OUC’s COVID-19 precautions, including social distancing and enhanced safety and sanitization protocols.

This OUC deployment is believed to be the first in response to a winter storm. OUC conducted a cold weather drill last year to prepare crews for responding to winter storms.

Led by Spencer Barnes (above), line supervisor, the team consists of:

  • Damon Adkinson, Lead Line Technician
  • Michael Atout, Line Tech I
  • Zachary Brown, Line Tech II
  • Chase Crawford, Line Tech II
  • Salvador Magana, Line Tech III
  • Jason Reynolds, Lead Line Technician
  • Terrance Roberson, Line Tech I
  • Holton Stough, Line Tech II
  • David Swain, Mechanic
  • Charles Wincey, Line Tech II

For Barnes, the High Point deployment comes a month before he retires, ending a 35-year career with OUC. He has worked on several power restoration teams sent to help cities in and out of Florida.

“It’s a great feeling to be able to help people. When we get their power back on, it brings a sense of normalcy to them,” he said.