“We worked with crews from Dothan last year in Orlando, and now we’ll be working in Dothan to help them out,” Hargrove said.
He said it was his understanding that of the 31,000 customers in Dothan, 80 percent were without power.
“You really don’t know what you’re faced with until you get there and start assessing the situation,” said Charlie Canida, general manager of the Russellville Electric Board.
Canida had a six-member crew leave Thursday morning for Havana, Florida, which is near the Tallahassee, Florida, area.
“Our guys are ready to go wherever we are needed,” Canida said. “They were eager to get there and help out as much as possible.”
Six Florence Electricity Department workers left for Hartford on Thursday morning, Manager Richard Morrissey said. Hartford is just outside of Dothan.
“We’ll probably rotate six more in a week, depending where the needs are,” Morrissey said. “I don’t like to leave them out more than a few days at a time.”
The deployments by the local electric crews are part of the Electric Cities of Alabama (ECA) mutual aid agreement.
Jon Hand, executive director of ECA, commended those who are willing to assist during emergencies.
“I am so thankful for the hardworking men and women that work for municipally owned electric companies throughout our state,” Hand said.
Like Holden, Capt. Benjamin Deuel, of the Salvation Army, is on standby.
He had been home just one day following two weeks of assistance in North Carolina in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence.
“We’re on standby right now, but we’re ready,” Deuel said Thursday. “Our (food) canteen is stocked and ready. And my bags are still packed. When I left North Carolina, I washed up everything just in case I would be heading to south Alabama.”
He said the Salvation Army had 15-16 crews staged throughout the state preparing for when Hurricane Michael hit land.
Claude Fillingham, a volunteer with the American Red Cross, was in Montgomery on Thursday morning with a Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicle (ERV) waiting for his assignment.
“We’re going somewhere, I just don’t know where right now. That will change as rescue people come in and start assessing the situation,” Fillingham said.
He said wherever he goes, he will be helping other Red Cross officials working to meet the immediate needs of the public.
Holden said the command center he will drive is also capable of providing communications.
He spent most of the day Wednesday and all of Thursday checking the equipment and making sure the vehicle was ready when, and if, the call came.
“It’s a wait and see right now, but we’re ready. This is what we’re here for,” Holden said.