LINCOLN — Lincoln Electric System is deploying staff and vehicles to help utilities in Florida with anticipated power restoration efforts due to Hurricane Ian.
Three crews comprised of 20 LES employees are headed to Tallahassee, Florida, as Hurricane Ian approaches, expected to make landfall Sept. 28. In preparation, utilities in the path are prestaging restoration workers and equipment and coordinating response efforts with their state and local officials.
"Storms of this size have the potential to cause storm surges and flooding," said Paul Crist, LES vice president of Energy Delivery. "Outages are expected, and our crews will work diligently to restore power, quickly and safely. Safety is a top priority."
LES crews will deploy Sept. 28 at 6:30 a.m. and are expected to arrive in Florida Sept. 30. A crew from Grand Island will travel with LES to assist in restoration efforts.
The American Public Power Association is helping to coordinate assistance efforts in the region. More than 2,000 community-owned electric utilities across the country make up the APPA. As a member of the APPA's mutual aid network, LES is reimbursed for all costs of deploying resources to assist other utilities.
LES and its workers consistently answer the call — near or far — when fellow utilities face challenges requiring mutual aid assistance. The utility most recently offered a hand restoring power in Houma, Louisiana, in the wake of Hurricane Ida in 2021.
"We are always balancing the desire to assist other utilities with the need to be prepared for adverse events that may take place at home," Crist said. "Serving our families, neighbors and friends in the Lincoln area remains our priority."
Connect with LES social media to get updates on your local utility's power restoration efforts following Hurricane Ian.