Wisconsin Public Power Crews Headed to Florida to Speed Recovery from Hurricane Ian
MARSHFIELD, WI (OnFocus) – As Florida utilities prepare for anticipated damage when Hurricane Ian makes landfall this week, dozens of line-workers from municipally-owned utilities across Wisconsin are answering the call. Michael Vanderwyst and Andy Goettl will be representing Marshfield Utilities.
Florida Municipal Electric Association (FMEA) has asked Municipal Electric Utilities of Wisconsin (MEUW) to organize electric system “mutual aid” crews to head for Kissimmee, Florida, to work side-by-side with Kissimmee Utility Authority (KUA) employees and other mutual aid crews. Workers from 22 Wisconsin communities will help with recovery work that is expected to be needed in the wake of Hurricane Ian.
As of 7:00 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 28, Wisconsin municipal utilities are planning to send at ;east 41 electric line-workers, along with a fleet of bucket trucks, digger derricks, and other equipment. MEUW is sending one of its staff members to monitor worker safety and help coordinate efforts on the ground in Florida.
The Wisconsin crews are scheduled to depart on Thursday morning and will use Chattanooga, Tenn., as an initial staging area. Workers are expected to be in Florida for 10 days to two weeks.
Municipal utilities participating in the initial wave of Ian-related mutual aid come from Arcadia, Black Earth, Cedarburg, Elkhorn, Fennimore, Hartford, Kaukauna, Marshfield, Mazomanie, Muscoda, New Lisbon, Manitowoc, Oconomowoc, Oconto Falls, Plymouth, Rice Lake, Richland Center, Shawano, Stoughton, Sun Prairie, Waunakee, and Wisconsin Rapids.
MEUW member utilities traveled to support KUA after Hurricane Irma ravaged east-central Florida five years ago. KUA is the sixth-largest utility in Florida, which is home to 33 community-owned utilities (compared to 81 in Wisconsin).
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