Hydro One is mobilizing 175 employees who are heading down to Florida to help with the Hurricane Irma relief efforts. The hurricane has caused catastrophic flooding and damage to Florida and much of the Caribbean since it hit the region last week.
The utility will send 150 lines and forestry staff, as well as 25 supporting resources, including mechanics, to help with the restoration efforts. Crews will bring 52 bucket trucks to Florida, as well as 30 other vehicles and pieces of equipment to transport and replace poles, said the company.
Crews are expected to reach the affected areas by Wednesday.
"We are proud of Hydro One's long-standing history of responding to help other communities in need,” said Greg Kiraly, COO of Hydro One. “Hydro One's highly skilled employees are trained to work on both transmission and distribution systems, as well as in storm and emergency situations, making them incredibly valuable resources during a devastating hurricane. Access to electricity can be a lifeline in a disaster and our crews are determined to help restore power to the families and businesses in Florida as quickly and safely as possible."
"We want to thank our employees in advance for leaving their families to help our neighbours in need. The commitment of our employees to assist during times of crisis is something every Ontarian should be proud of," said Kiraly.
Hydro One has reciprocal agreements with North American utilities to provide assistance during significant power outages. In these mutual assistance situations, all costs are covered by the utility receiving the help, it said.
In the past, Hydro One has sent crews to Massachusetts, Michigan, Florida, Ohio, Vermont, Washington, D.C., and the Carolinas. In July 2012, it dispatched 200 employees to Washington, Baltimore and Virginia after a wind storm knocked out power to more than three million homes and businesses. A few months later, in November 2012, 225 Hydro One employees travelled to Long Island, N.Y., to assist in the Hurricane Sandy restoration efforts.
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