As Floridians evacuated their homes in anticipation of Hurricane Irma, 100 Eversource lineworkers and support personnel drove toward the storm to assist with what will be one of the most complex restoration efforts the state’s largest power company, Florida Power & Light Co. (FPL), has ever faced. Since Irma landed in the Sunshine State yesterday, more than 6 million customers have lost power.
“We know that there are people in need and we want to help,” said our incident commander for the deployment, Marc Geaumont. “Participating in the industry's mutual aid network is an important part of serving our customers. In the past when we were in need of help, crews from all over the East Coast, including Florida, have assisted with our restoration efforts. We're proud to provide aid to our utility partners that have readily supported us in previous storms."
After packing for what is expected to be a weeks-long restoration effort, our employees set out from area work centers throughout our service territory early Saturday morning to join a convoy of about 70 vehicles that included 14 line crews from CT, 13 from MA, and 10 from NH; as well as pickup trucks and our Mobile Command Center. Our lineworkers will work alongside crews from all over the country assisting FPL with the substantial task of repairing extensive damage to the energy system caused by the hurricane’s strong winds and coastal surge flooding.
"We assembled the largest pre-storm restoration workforce in our nation's history, but this will likely be a recovery effort of historic proportions, extending for weeks,” FPL President and CEO Eric Silagy said in a news release yesterday.
After a brief stop in Virginia to service their vehicles and prepare for the work ahead in the coming weeks, our crews set out this morning for Florida, where they will begin assisting with restoration efforts first thing tomorrow morning. We’re proud of all our employees who stepped up to answer the call for help!