Westminster energy company sends resources to Southeast for Hurricane Florence relief

Westminster-based Tevis Energy heeded the call for service and sent workers and resources to Virginia and the Carolinas to keep trucks and generators running as Hurricane Florence continues to pound those areas.

It’s a paid gig — the company and employees are being compensated handsomely, said Bruce Spiridonoff, Tevis general manager. But that doesn’t take away from the crucial support they’re providing as the hurricane wreaks havoc, he added.


Employees participation is voluntary, said Omer Dogru, director of operations. “It shows we have good people.”

Tevis sent 12 employees, 10 trucks and various support vehicles into Florence’s path, Spiridonoff told the Times.

The eight trucks include 2,800-gallon tankers and 8,500-gallon tractor trailers, Dogru explained. Most of the tanks are split so they can transport different types of fuel, he added.

Dogru, who did a phone interview with the Times from Richmond, Virginia, called it a once in a lifetime opportunity to help others in need.

Tevis has delivered in Roanoke, Virginia; Raleigh, North Carolina, and Columbia, South Carolina, along with a host of smaller towns, Dogru explained.

Tevis manager Matt Hurley talked to the Times from a 2,800-gallon oil truck in Snow Hill, North Carolina. He said he had a mechanic and support truck in tow — in case of breakdown.

Delivery routes have been compromised because of heavy rain, flooding and downed trees closing roads, Hurley said. In Snow Hill, there’s no electricity and nothing’s open, he added.

During one delivery, an employee of the company told Hurley that he had to travel some 35 miles north to find an open food store, he said.

Tevis, a heating, diesel and gasoline company, is constantly fielding calls for fuel deliveries, Dogru said. He and some dispatchers at headquarters in Westminster help coordinate and direct drivers.

“It’s ‘Need a load here, need a load here,’ ” Dogru said, “then ‘OK, what product do they need, how fast can we get there?’ ”

The driving conditions are tough and sleep is rare.

Sometimes hotels and motels are closed, so drivers sleep in their trucks, he said. “Yesterday we ran for like 22 hours straight.”

They’re pushing hard. But everyone knows their limits and those of the vehicles, Dogru said.

Whether it’s generators powering massive internet servers, the U.S. Postal Service, Department of Defense or a local emergency management battalion, Tevis brings the fuel. On-road diesel for trucks and heavy machinery, off-road diesel for generators and gasoline for smaller vehicles.


Spiridonoff said the company’s services are contracted for five days, but they’ll likely operate for closer to 10. The company is posting updates about its team on social media.

Conditions aren’t likely to improve for the 12-member team: Dogru, Hurley, Greg Medve, Marcus Lanasa, Eusebio Guevara, Jenn Bittle, Brandon Morton, Shaun Williams, Jack Gore, Barry Stocksdale, Seth Sprinkle and Jason Hughes.

“I hate to say it,” Hurley said from his tanker Friday evening, “but it’s probably going to get worse.”