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Carter men travel to Puerto Rico to help restore electrical grid

John Thompson • Updated Jan 9, 2018 at 9:18 PM

ELIZABETHTON — As Puerto Rico continues its long ordeal of recovering from Hurricane Maria, three men from Carter County have left to help with the restoration of the island’s electrical infrastructure.

Carter County Commissioner Charles Von Cannon announced that the men, Wilford Moody, owner of Moody Hauling, Michael Irwin and Jeff Burks, left from his business incubator site at Bemberg.

Von Cannon said the men left with three large electrical service trucks, complete with overhead buckets. They also took two pickup trucks fully loaded with supplies and equipment they believe will be hard to obtain in Puerto Rico. These include hydraulic fluid, oil and spare parts.

The pickup trucks will serve as transportation assets and as storerooms for critical and perhaps irreplaceable supplies on the island.

Von Cannon said the men left Carter County, bound for Jacksonville, Florida, where the trucks were loaded onto a ship headed for Pueto Rico. Once the men arrive on the island, they will head into the hinterland of the country to repair power lines and get electrical service restored to some of the hardest hit places on the island.

Calls to Moody went unanswered on Tuesday. The men may have been out of reach of cell phone signals.

Von Cannon said Moody works during the summer months transporting large boats up and down the East Coast. During the winter months, Moody has less work to do, Von Cannon said.

The work done by the men will be paid for by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Von Cannon said. Von Cannon said he was proud his Bemberg job incubator operation played a role in getting the work for the men and their equipment.

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