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    LES to send crews to Florida for storm relief after Hurricane Ian


    September 28, 2022 - Evelyn Mejia, Lincoln Journal Star, Neb.

     

      Sep. 28—Lincoln Electric System is deploying staff and vehicles to help utilities in Florida with anticipated power restoration efforts due to Hurricane Ian.

      Three crews comprised of 20 LES employees will head to Tallahassee, Florida, Wednesday at 6:30 a.m. as Hurricane Ian is expected to make landfall on Wednesday.

      "Storms of this size have the potential to cause storm surges and flooding, said Paul Crist, LES vice president of Energy Delivery. "Outages are expected, and our crews will work diligently to restore power quickly and safely. Safety is a top priority."

      Through the American Public Power Association, a nationwide network of utilities, LES has been providing mutual aid assistance since Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

      Since then they've provided assistance to communities affected by Hurricane Matthew, Irma, Michael, Dorian and Hurricane Ida last year.

      LES members, along with a crew from Grand Island traveling with them, are expected to arrive in Florida on Friday.

      As a member of the mutual aid network, LES will be reimbursed for all costs of deploying members and resources to assist other utilities.

      Kelly Porter of communications with LES, says the amount of time crews spend in Florida depends on the amount of restoration needed and the type of damage.

      "Some previous mutual aid efforts have lasted as long a couple days to two weeks," Porter said.

      As LES is one of few utilities nationwide that is able to restore both overhead and underground powerlines, Porter said LES is often requested for mutual aid assistance.

      Once the APPA requests assistance, LES leadership reaches out to its members and it's a matter of getting enough volunteers, Porter said.

      Although LES will be sending three crews to Florida, they've made sure there are still enough members staying home.

      "We are always balancing the desire to assist other utilities with the need to be prepared for adverse events that may take place at home," Crist said. "Serving our families, neighbors and friends in the Lincoln area remains our priority."

      For updates on the local utility's power restoration efforts following Hurricane Ian, follow LES on Facebook and Twitter.

      Reach the writer at 402-473-7228 or emejia@journalstar.com

      ___

      (c)2022 Lincoln Journal Star, Neb.

      Visit Lincoln Journal Star, Neb. at www.journalstar.com

      Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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