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Utilities Deploy Line Crews to Carolinas Ahead of Hurricane Florence

Sept. 12, 2018
Electric power industry prepares for Hurricane Florence.

More than 500 Florida Power & Light Company lineworkers traveled to the Carolinas today to respond to Florence. In addition, line crews from TECO, Entergy Mississippi, Duke Energy, OG&E and Entergy Arkansas sent convoys of bucket trucks to help the utilities who could soon be impacted when the hurricane makes landfall.

Meanwhile, electric companies in the path of Hurricane Florence--such as Pepco and Dominion Energy--are  preparing  for the storm and are urging their customers to do the same. Edison Electric Institute (EEI) said potentially impacted companies are pre-positioning workers and related equipment in the areas most likely to be hardest hit. Additional mutual assistance workers from at least 15 states already are en route to assist. Customers are urged to prepare now for the possibility of a lengthy restoration effort. If ordered to evacuate, customers should do so immediately, according to EEI.

“Hurricane Florence is an extremely dangerous and historic storm that may cause widespread and prolonged power outages,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn. “Strong winds, heavy rain, and storm surge have the potential to cause extreme damage and dangerous flooding. Electric companies in Florence’s potential path have activated their emergency response plans and are mobilizing restoration workers, staging equipment and coordinating preparation and response efforts with federal, state and local government officials. It is important to remember that power restoration efforts could be slowed by prolonged high winds and dangerous flooding conditions. Safety is our industry’s number one priority, and crews will work around the clock to restore power as conditions allow.”

The CEO-led Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council (ESCC) also is engaged to ensure unity of effort across the highest levels of industry and government. Last night, senior officials from the Department of Energy (DOE) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) joined a call with the CEOs of electric companies in the path of Hurricane Florence to discuss the mutual assistance preparation and staging activities underway.

“Strong industry-government coordination is critical," Kuhn says. "Power restoration is a team mission, and we appreciate the ongoing leadership from DOE, DHS, and FEMA in helping to coordinate the industry response."

For more information and to see photos of the crews traveling to the Carolinas, visit the EEI Resource Center

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