City of Gastonia Electric Receives National Commendation for Electric Restoration Efforts in the Town of Drexel, NC

Two men high on a pole connecting electric lines

The City of Gastonia has received a national commendation from the American Public Power Association for its support in multiple electric power restoration efforts, most recently in the sister Town of Drexel, NC, which suffered widespread outages as a result of Tropical Storm Zeta earlier this year.

On October 30, 2020, the City of Gastonia sent four crews to assist the Town of Drexel, which is east of Morganton in Burke County. While responding to these calls for aid, Gastonia’s Electric crews were able to restore power to hundreds of homes and businesses throughout the area, as they cleared limbs from power lines, installed new poles, and reconnected lines that had been damaged.

“As a community-owned utility company, mutual aid is at the heart of what we do and we are proud to step up and help our neighbors in need,” said Gastonia City Manager Michael Peoples. “It is an honor to offer our support to other communities when they have a need and we have the resources and expertise available to do so.”

This restoration trip marks the fourth consecutive year that City of Gastonia crews have traveled to other communities to restore power after major weather events. “We are proud of the sacrifice our staff was able to make as they brave dangerous conditions to meet a vital need for those in the storm’s path,” said Division Manager of Electric Ron Gaff. “Throughout our history, we have traveled as far as New York and Florida, and as close by as our next door neighbor. The City of Gastonia has always been a community ready and willing to lend a hand when a community is facing hardship. The opportunity to partner with the Town of Drexel was no different,” Gaff said.

“Restoring power during major events like this gives our personnel valuable experience in dealing with widespread outages,” said Matt Lambert, City of Gastonia Crew Supervisor. “It’s long days and nights, but the linemen love what they do and helping others in need. It’s a brotherhood in this line of work.”

The City of Gastonia Electric Division participates in the American Public Power Association’s Mutual Aid Network, which coordinates restoration activities with over 2000 Public Power utilities and authorities during widespread power outages.