Fifty-nine Alabama Power employees and contract workers last week joined some 400 workers already dispatched to South Florida to help restore electric service following Hurricane Wilma.
The additional workers from Alabama Power left last Friday and Saturday from Birmingham, Anniston, and the western part of the state, to work in areas of South Florida. Crews from Montgomery, Mobile and other Alabama communities left Oct. 24 and 25 to assist Florida Power & Light in the Palm Beach area of South Florida.
Some 2 million people were without power in Florida after Hurricane Wilma crossed the Florida peninsula. Florida Power & Light officials say it will take several weeks to fully restore service to their customers.
“It’s the right thing to do,” said Robin Hurst, Alabama Power senior vice president. “Alabama Power has been the recipient of a lot of support from out-of-state utilities during our time of need, and we are happy to return the favor to a neighboring state during their time of need.”
Crews from Florida and 19 other states helped Alabama Power this past August during Hurricane Katrina, the worst storm in the company’s history in terms of damage to infrastructure. Some 3500 workers from 17 states assisted Alabama Power during Hurricane Dennis in July. In September 2004, more than 3000 workers from 27 states and Washington, D.C. made the trip to Alabama to work on storm restoration following Hurricane Ivan.
Alabama Power, a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Company, provides electricity to more than 1.3 million customers.