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Ridgecrest hosts utility workers headed to hurricane-stricken areas

EDITORS’ NOTE: This story replaces one released 9/15/99 titled “Ridgecrest prepares for extra guests in wake of Hurricane Floyd.”
RIDGECREST, N.C. (BP)–Approximately 1,500 utility line workers from states not affected by Hurricane Floyd spent the night Sept. 15 at Ridgecrest (N.C.), a LifeWay Conference Center, before departing to assigned locations to assist in restoring power.
They arrived in almost 800 utility trucks from states including Arkansas, Louisiana, Ohio and California. Arrivals ranged from the afternoon of the 15th to 10 a.m. on the 16th, according to Rodger Derr, director of sales and marketing. In addition to providing rooms, the conference center served dinner and breakfast.
Derr said the conference center received a call Tuesday morning from officials of the Carolina Power and Light Co. who were hosting and coordinating the Asheville staging area. Those assigned to Ridgecrest rested eight hours before moving on to areas needing assistance with downed lines and restoring power.
Other camps and conference centers in the area also provided housing.
“While we regret these circumstances, we are glad for this opportunity to meet a real need and be a good witness to those coming to the conference center,” Ridgecrest director G.W. Lankford said. “Many of our people worked all night, checking people in and preparing meals. They went the extra mile to help in this crisis.”

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