More utility crews from Nebraska are on their way to hurricane stricken areas in Florida to help get the power back on. Omaha Public Power District spokesperson Jody Baker says they are answering a call for mutual aid to utility companies in need of help.
Nearly 47 linemen and contracted tree crews left this morning for Florida. OPPD also sent 14 vehicles including pickup trucks, bucket trucks and digger derricks to assist in restoration efforts.
Baker says, “We are going to be assisting Tampa Electric and other public utility down in that direction to find out where the help is most needed in terms of line repairs and rebuilds. We going to take their direction. We also spoke with Jacksonville Electric and they requested assistance. Our crews will kind of be bouncing around helping wherever needed.”
This effort is coordinated by the Midwest Mutual Assistance Group, offering support across jurisdictional boundaries during widespread power outages. Typically, OPPD’s mutual aid efforts are limited to within 500 miles of our service territory. However, exceptions are made for certain catastrophic events. OPPD crews helped out during Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and with Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Crews from as far away as Alabama assisted OPPD following a destructive storm on June 16th. That storm knocked out power to more than 76,000 customers.