ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) Appalachian Power employees and contractors from Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee are hitting the road. About 380 people in all, helping out in Georgia and Florida.
With a quick reminder to play it safe in transit and on the job, several employees at Appalachian Power's Roanoke Service Center prepared to head out Tuesday morning.
Some like Power Line Crew Supervisor Kenney Boone have done this before.
"They're hurting down there right now," Boone told WDBJ7. "You can deal with a lot of things, but if you don't have any electricity it makes it even worse."
This is a first for Line Mechanic Brian Smith, heading out to help another utility restore power.
"I can only imagine what it would be like if it was me or my family that needed help," Smith said as he prepared to leave Roanoke, "so like I said the crews are eager to get down there and help out."
There will be plenty of work for the Appalachian crews. Irma has left millions of people without power in Florida and Georgia.
Teresa Hall is a spokesperson for Appalachian Power.
"They're going to be doing a lot of hands-on work," Hall said. "They're going to be putting in new poles where they snapped off or were torn out. And then they'll also be stringing the new electrical wire."
The Appalachian Power employees who left Tuesday are prepared to be away from home for up to two weeks. After that, more could follow to deal with the effects of Irma, or the next hurricane to wreak havoc down south.