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LES sends crews to help with mutual aid efforts

LINCOLN – Lincoln Electric System is deploying staff and vehicles to help Florida public power utilities with anticipated power restoration efforts due to Hurricane Irma. Forecasters are predicting the Category 5 hurricane will continue moving north, evolving into a Category 4 hurricane when it reaches Florida on Sunday.

Fourteen LES employees with nine vehicles will report to Tallahassee, Florida. Electric utilities in the path of the storm have been preparing for days. They are prestaging restoration workers and equipment now and are directly coordinating preparation and response efforts with their state governments and local officials.

“Strong winds have the potential to cause significant power outages,” said Dan Pudenz, vice president of Energy Delivery. “Our crews will work diligently to assist other public utilities during their time of need.”

Pudenz said LES crews will deploy at 7 a.m. Sept. 9, and the teams will be joined by fellow Nebraska public power utilities Loup Power District and City of Grand Island Utilities to provide mutual aid.

Safety is our industry’s number one priority, and the team is ready to respond to any power outages once conditions are safe to do so, Pudenz said.

The American Public Power Association, comprised of more than 2,000 community-owned electric utilities in the United States, helped to coordinate this assistance effort. LES is a member of this mutual aid network and is reimbursed for all costs of deploying crews to assist other utilities.

LES and its workers consistently rise to the challenge when asked for help by fellow utilities. The desire to assist other utilities is always balanced by the need to be ready for adverse events that may take place here in Lincoln due to weather or other catastrophic events.

Follow LES on Facebook and Twitter to view LES storm assistance updates.