Florida Power & Light Co. is deploying more than 500 power-restoration workers and several trucks to the Carolinas to help restore power in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence.
With support from the Southeastern Electric Exchange, Duke Power, and other electric companies, workers plan to restore outages in the southeastern and mid-Atlantic states, FPL spokesperson Chris McGrath said at a news conference Tuesday.
“We’re mobilizing throughout the state of Florida with the goal to pre-position in South Carolina,” McGrath said as FPL workers and trucks gathered at the Lake Worth service plaza on Florida’s Turnpike prior to heading north.
It’s the latest support effort by FPL to help other areas of the United States cope in the aftermath of storms. The utility, Florida’s largest, needed help from those in other states following Hurricane Irma last year, and it provided help to other areas after Hurricane Matthew in 2016 and to Puerto Rico last year after Hurricane Maria.
FPL crews are “battle-tested, we’re ready to respond, and we’re happy to help,” McGrath said.
During a typical 16-hour workday, vegetation crews and contractors from several states will work together to clear downed trees and branches, making space for power-company crews to restore lines in a timely fashion, said Bill Orlove, another spokesman for the utility.
The safety of all work crews will be the top issue throughout the restoration after Florence, Orlove said.
“For safety reasons, crews are able to restore power so long as the wind speed does not exceed 35 mph,” Orlove said. “But if it floods, we can’t restore power because of the underground power lines. We’d have to wait until the water recedes.”