In anticipation of those power outages, utility crews around the country are getting ready to head to Florida, including in Connecticut.
Sunday, four employees from the Norwich Public Utilities prepared to leave for Orlando. The team left the NPU headquarters during the afternoon hours and went to Danbury where they met up with nine other crews from around New England before heading to Florida.
The American Public Power Association, which is made up of more than 2,000 community-owned electric utilities, put out the call for mutual aid. The crews will arrive at the command center in Orlando on Tuesday to begin restoring power to hundreds-of-thousands of customers.
Norwich Public Utilities is driving down a digger truck, which is used to install utility poles.
"NPU is proud to be a part of the American Public Power Association's mutual aid program and immediately responded to the call for assistance from our friends and colleagues in Florida," John Bilda, general manager of NPU, said in a statement on Saturday. "The organizations that we will support in the days ahead could very well return the favor in Norwich some time down the road."
This is an open-ended trip. The crew will stay in Florida as long as needed.
"The unexpected is what's difficult to deal with. We know that there's going to be huge outages," said Chris Riley, Norwich Public Utilities. "Millions of people and our folks are happy to contribute any way we can."
Eversource crews left for Orlando on Saturday morning. There 100 Eversource employees from Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire heading to Florida "to assist fellow energy companies in the power restoration efforts." The relief effort included a convoy of close to 30 line workers and support personnel, equipment and trucks as well as the company Mobile Command Center.
As of Sunday afternoon, they checked in from Maryland and prepared for the next leg of their trip.
"We’re servicing trucks, changing tires, and checking equipment before heading south to assist with power restoration efforts after Hurricane Irma hits," said Tricia Taskey Modifica. "Everyone is eager and ready to help!"
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