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Sunshine State News: Public Power Crews Nationwide Are Racing to the Panhandle

Monday, October 15, 2018

Public power utilities in the Florida panhandle are bracing for the impacts of Hurricane Michael, which will make landfall sometime Wednesday afternoon as a potential Category 3 hurricane. Currently, the Florida public power utilities of Tallahassee, Havana, Chattahoochee, Quincy and Blountstown are all in the potential impact zone.

In preparation for the storm, the Florida Municipal Electric Association activated the American Public Power Association mutual aid network and, once again, the response from across the country has been tremendous. By tonight, we will have approximately 125 power restoration personnel pre-staged in Tallahassee.

Crews from public power utilities across Florida (about 90 personnel from 10 utilities), Tennessee (21 personnel from three utilities), and Lafayette, La. (14 personnel) will be arriving in Tallahassee this evening. More crews from other public power utilities in Florida (another 60-plus personnel once cleared from their own potential impact), as well as more than 200 personnel from Indiana, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Ohio, Kentucky, Missouri and Texas are planning to make their way toward Tallahassee for a Thursday arrival, with many other utilities and states still gathering their available resources. Additionally, crews in Alabama, Georgia and the Carolinas are on standby for us once they are cleared from threats to their own areas. Those crews are prepared to assist with any impacts to Quincy, Blountstown, Havana and Chattahoochee, as well as additional support for Tallahassee if needed.

We appreciate the outpouring of support from our fellow public power communities throughout the United States. These crews leave their homes and families to work in challenging, sometimes dangerous situations. We will be forever grateful.

Amy Zubaly is the executive director of Florida Municipal Electric Association.

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