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LES crews requested for mutual aid in new location

LINCOLN — Lincoln Electric System deployed staff and vehicles to New Smyrna Beach, Florida, earlier today. The request was made for aid late last night from the American Public Power Association and the Florida Municipal Electric Association due to anticipated damage to electric infrastructure in the wake of Hurricane Dorian. A mutual aid request by the Florida Municipal Electric Association to provide aid in Tallahassee was previously canceled due to updated weather forecasts.

Fourteen LES employees with eight vehicles left Lincoln this morning heading for Florida. Grand Island Utilities also sent six employees and three vehicles to travel with the LES response team.

“Hurricane Dorian now appears on its way to hit the east coast of Florida,” said Dan Pudenz, vice president of Energy Delivery. “Our crews are deploying to assist in power restoration for communities in its path.” Following assistance in New Smyrna Beach, it is possible LES and Grand Island crews could be redeployed to other areas as needed.

LES crews began the 20-hour drive to New Smyrna Beach at 8 a.m. and expect to report in at their destination Wednesday, though that is subject to change depending on road conditions. “Safety is still our top priority,” Pudenz said. “Once they arrive and conditions are safe, LES crews will be ready to respond to any outages that occur.”

As a member of the APPA’s mutual aid network, LES is always ready to answer the call for assistance and is reimbursed for all costs of deploying crews to help utilities in need, while continuously balancing the need to be ready for adverse events that may take place at home in the Lincoln area.

Follow LES on Facebook and Twitter for updates on LES’ power restoration efforts following Hurricane Dorian.