Local PG&E Crews Head to Florida to Help Residents Facing Hurricane Irma

PGE Crews heading to restore power after Hurricane Irma which is expected to have category 5 winds

Northern California PG&E Crews are heading to restore power after Hurricane Irma hits Florida this weekend. Left to right: Alan Redner (McKinleyville), Dustin Trimble (Ukiah), Irvin McCallum (Ukiah), Eric Stockley (Willits), John Brandenburg (Eureka), Chris Hunt (Eureka).

Press release from PG&E:

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) crews are being deployed to help restore power to Floridians impacted by Hurricane Irma; including 2 crews from PG&E’s Humboldt Division.

About 125 PG&E employees, including line workers, equipment operators, supervisors and support personnel, will fly from California to Florida today as part of the Hurricane Irma response team. Crews from throughout PG&E’s 70,000-square-mile service area will travel to Florida as part of a mutual-aid agreement with Florida Power & Light (FPL) to support restoration efforts.

“When major earthquakes struck Napa in 2014 and the Bay Area in 1989, and when Super Storm Sandy wreaked havoc on the Eastern Seaboard in 2012, our employees stepped up to help those in need. Safely restoring power to customers affected by major disasters such as a wildfire, hurricane or earthquake begins the process of returning life back to normal for communities,” said Nick Stavropoulos, President and Chief Operating Officer of PG&E. “It’s our job and commitment to do this for our customers in California, and we’re happy to be able to extend our efforts to those in Florida impacted by Hurricane Irma.”

In 2014, PG&E and FPL signed an historic, cross-continent mutual-aid agreement, pledging support in the event of a major natural disaster, such as an earthquake in California or a hurricane in Florida. Besides the commitment of personnel, the agreement between PG&E and FPL includes logistics, common work procedures and safety protocols. This marks the second time this agreement has been activated. The first was for Hurricane Matthew, last fall, when PG&E crews were prepared to go to Florida but ultimately weren’t needed. Per the agreement, FPL as the host utility will cover the costs of this support.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Irma is a potentially catastrophic, Category 5 hurricane with maximum winds of 185 mph. Irma could make landfall in Florida over the weekend.

PG&E crews will depart for Florida today from the Sacramento area. You can follow the work of our crews on Currents and on Twitter @PGE_Deanna.

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