Kentuckians help with hurricane relief along Gulf Coast

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Hurricane Sally has come and gone, killing at least one person and leaving behind destruction and flooding along several Gulf Coast states.

Kentuckians are there to help rebuild and restore power.

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“Just because the storm has come and gone, that doesn’t mean the danger has come and gone,” Matt Daley said.

Daley is a director with Emergency Disaster Services, based out of Lexington.

For the last three weeks he’s been on the ground in Louisiana helping with Hurricane Laura damages.

“We’re not heroes by any mean, but we’re taking care of the heroes who are actually out here doing the hard work,” Daley said.

EDS sets up hubs for first responders and utilities crews to work in devastated areas like Louisiana following Hurricane Laura and Alabama after Hurricane Sally.

“It’s sad that you do get used to seeing streets that are bombed out. In fact, when you pull up to the intersection and the streetlights are working, you almost have to take a second to think, oh my gosh, there’s a green light and I can go instead of the stop and start traffic,” Daley said.

Another group, Kentucky Electric Cooperatives left for Alabama Thursday with a big project ahead.

“They have 4,000 miles of power line down, they have more than 4,000 trees in the power lines our co-op crews are literally going to be rebuilding their system,” Joe Arnold with Kentucky Electric Cooperatives said.

Arnold says Kentucky teams on the ground in Alabama will be a part of a larger nearly thousand person utility crew to help restore power.

And it’s a rebuild like never before.

“It’s hard enough to work in a devastated storm event. It’s even harder when there’s a global pandemic that you’re wrapped in,” Daley said.

Daley and Arnold agree, safety precautions, sanitation and social distancing still in-place to help keep workers safe as they work long days with a particularly long hurricane season still ahead.

“None of us are really going home anytime soon,” Daley said.

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Monica Harkins joined the ABC 36 News team in June 2019 as a Multimedia journalist and Anchor/Producer. She’s born and raised in Austin, Texas and headed “North,” as she calls it, to study broadcast journalism and business at the University of Missouri. While at Mizzou she anchored and reported for KOMU 8 News, an NBC affiliate in Columbia, Missouri all four years. During her childhood she played almost every sport, but they always called her “Hollywood” for her love of theatre. In high school, she realized her excitement for theatre and performing was only a small piece of the puzzle. It’s story telling that’s her passion. She’s especially passionate about social media and creative platforms to tell stories. Her most recent experiment is being a FAA certified drone pilot. As a proud Texan she says she’s made of country music, Southern hospitality and Sweet Tea. When she’s not at work you can find her trying new recipes, listening to crime podcasts, reading the latest romance novel or rockin’ out to live music with friends. She says she’s only a tweet or Facebook message away, so say hi and send her the latest on your community. @MonicaHarkinstv or Mharkins@wtvq.com