For immediate release - April 29, 2011
Leesburg Electric Helps to Restore Power to Tornado Victims in Tennessee
A convoy from the Leesburg Electric Department arrived in Cleveland, Tenn., Friday morning to help restore power to an area hit hard by this week’s deadly tornadoes.
The team, which included 10 electric workers, four bucket trucks, two line trucks, two pickup trucks, and loads of electrical equipment, left Leesburg at 7 p.m. Thursday through a coordinated effort by the Florida Municipal Electric Association and local utilities. The city crew is expected to stay for a week or longer depending on how much assistance is needed in the widespread relief efforts.
A string of 160 tornadoes ripped through six states on Wednesday and Thursday, killing nearly 300 people and wiping out huge areas of development. Local news around Cleveland reported nine dead in the Bradley County area served mostly by Cleveland Utilities. The city’s utility web site reported nearly 4,000 customers without power Friday morning.
Many utilities like Leesburg have cooperative agreements to provide assistance during major disasters. The city must closely document supplies, work and expenses that are reimbursed through the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Leesburg most recently assisted Lakeland, Fla., where severe storms knocked out power and caused other damage on March 31.
To help those impacted by this week’s devastating tornadoes, you may donate to the American Red Cross at www.redcross.org
or call 1-800-RED-CROSS.
Leesburg is a progressive city of more than 20,000 residents in northwest Lake County. The city government serves twice as many people with its electric, gas, water, wastewater and fiber-optic public utilities. Leesburg also is a central hub for commerce, attracting 50,000 people to work each weekday.