PENSACOLA, Fla. – As Tropical Storm Irma pushes out of Northwest Florida, Gulf Power crews continue to respond to customer outages and are planning to join many other utilities to deploy crews to help rebuild and restore power to those areas in the southeast hardest hit by the massive storm.
The 100-person storm team will depart Tuesday morning.
“Irma proved to be a powerful and deadly storm,” said Jeff Rogers, Gulf Power spokesperson. “Now that we have enough Gulf Power crews on the ground in the Bay County area to quickly restore power, our crews are ready to join the massive coordinated effort focused on rebuilding the electric grid and restoring power and hope to those hardest hit areas.”
Rogers added that Gulf Power sent additional line workers from the western end of the company’s service area to Bay County to ensure there were enough resources to get the lights back on quickly and safely for Gulf Power’s customers.
“Restoring power to our Gulf Power customers is our priority. With plenty of resources on the ground in Bay County, we’re prepared to send crews to help those areas so devastated by Irma,” said Rogers. “It’s what we do — we’re there for our neighbors in their time of need and when we need them — they send the troops to us.”
Gulf Power has a strong history of restoring power — both at home and away assisting other utilities. Crews have deployed more than 36 times since 2008 to help other energy companies restore power to their customers. This deployment will be different, as much of the restoration effort will require total rebuilding of power grid systems.
“Our crews are ready and anxious to help our friends to the southeast. Many remember what it was like after Hurricane Ivan in 2004, and they are anxious to restore power and hope to those that have lost so much.”
Recently, in 2016, Gulf Power responded to the City of Tallahassee and Georgia Power following Hurricane Hermine’s landfall. A month later, Gulf Power storm teams responded rapidly to calls for aid from Florida Public Utilities and Georgia Power, assisting with recovery operations following Hurricane Matthew. For these efforts, Gulf Power was awarded the Edison Electric Institute Assistance Award or its extraordinary work assisting in power restoration efforts in a neighboring or nearby electric company.
“Gulf Power is part of a mutual assistance network consisting of dozens of utilities. As part of this partnership, Gulf Power line crews provide assistance to other utilities when service to their customers is interrupted due to severe weather, and have traveled as far away as New York to assist with restoration following Superstorm Sandy,” said Rogers.
Follow our crews progress on Gulf Power’s Facebook<http://www.facebook.com/gulfpowercompany> page.