As south Florida struggles to recover from the effects of Hurricane Wilma, a contingent of Veridian, Ontario, Canada, staff is today preparing to depart for the Miami area early Wednesday morning, to assist with power restoration efforts. Veridian has committed a contingent of 14 experienced line staff and eight utility vehicles.
According to Veridian Executive Vice President Axel Starck, "Veridian's staff will be working with Florida Power & Light's restoration work force, which now totals more than 6000 personnel. We're pleased to be able to do our part to help restore service to the almost 3 million Floridians that are still without power."
Hurricane Wilma struck Florida on Monday, delivering powerful hurricane force winds that severely damaged Florida Power & Light's transmission and distribution network. The utility has stated that it may take weeks to restore power to all of its customers.
Michael Angemeer, Veridian's president and CEO, is confident Veridian's staff will make important contributions to the restoration efforts. "The group that we are sending to Florida is made up of highly trained and experienced lines staff," he says. "Many of them helped with power restoration efforts in Florida following Hurricane Jeanne one year ago, so they have first hand experience working under these types of emergency conditions."
Starck expects that some non-critical construction projects in Veridian's service area may be delayed due to the deployment of staff to Florida, but maintains that this will have no effect on local reliability. "We have more than adequate staff remaining to provide our usual levels of service for customers," he says. "While providing support to storm stricken areas is important, we are always careful not to jeopardize local service."