Long after the clouds have passed, Florida is not out of the dark yet, as millions return to their homes to pick up the pieces without power, but they’re not alone.
“We were contacted late last week asked to make the arrangements and our crews left Sunday morning and they’re there now in Gainesville working,” said Chris Heimgartner, Henderson Municipal Power and Light General Manager.
Henderson Municipal Power and Light sent two main crews, trucks and equipment- nearly half of their resources-down to Florida, joined up with a 126 person strong crew from Vectren and nearly 600 from Duke Energy.
“We’re again just responding to the need for crews that we have that are skilled line workers and those that can help assist in the removal of vegetation around electric infrastructure, and certainly the need still exists or we would not have to be sending more resources,” said Natalie Hedde, Director of Communications for Vectren.
Hedde says more back up is possibly to come.
Heimgartner explained what his crews in Florida have told him about the scene.
“Its very widespread, there’s a very large number of people getting the lights back on, but the damage is pretty severe, lots of down wires, broken poles, part of the problem is just getting into some of these neighborhoods because the streets are blocked with debris.”
But like down lines, some things, like tragedy, are better faced connected.
“Its really clear wherever you are in America if you are hit with a emergency and call out for help that Americans will come out and help,” said Heimgartner.
A job that could possibly take weeks or months, suddenly looking less dark.
“When you suddenly get 30,000 people to come into a state and help rebuild a system, you can get a lot of work done pretty quickly,” said Heimgartner.
Vectren says they’ve offered up another 18 full time employees to be deployed to any area hit by Irma.
This is in addition to their already 126 person strong crew.
Vectren says they are unsure whether or not those employees will actually be deployed.