Utility crews from Troy, Andalusia sent to Florida to help with power outages
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Two south Alabama cities have sent crews to Florida as Hurricane Ian made landfall Wednesday.
Troy Utilities dispatched 10 people to Ocala, a community 40 miles south of Gainesville.
“We sent an eight-man line construction crew that included the foreman along with three bucket trucks and one digger derrick truck and then we sent a two-man drone crew,” said Troy Utilities general manager Brian Chandler.
Seventy-five miles north of Ocala, crews from Andalusia are stationed at Green Cove Springs, an area 30 miles south of Jacksonville.
Andalusia Utilities electrical manager Jeff Puckett said they are waiting for the storm to pass through before they go out and begin restoration efforts.
“We was told that there’s a little over 30,000 linemen here in the state of Florida,” Puckett said.
Both Alabama-based crews are waiting out the storms in hotel rooms, saying the work will not begin until the winds and rain go away.
“We go out and work usually about a 14-15 hour day, but you always have somebody that wants you to get their power on before we quit, so we try to give them our best and we’ll we’ll try to help them out too,” Puckett said.
Depending on the damage, power restoration could take up to two weeks for both crews.
“It’s much more difficult to rebuild and put back up just because of the debris that’s on the lines and if they’re all tangled in trees or on buildings or on cars or things are broken, ”Chandler said.
Alabama Power has also sent 400 employees and 300 contractors to assist their sister company Georgia Power in Savannah for any anticipated outages.
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