Baltimore (WJZ) — Hundreds of workers from Maryland are heading down to Florida to try and get power back on for millions of customers.
More than three million customers in Florida are without power, but that number may keep climbing as the hurricane persists.
The utility companies there need all the help they can get — and now, Baltimore crews are on their way to help out in any way they can.
Hurricane Irma’s ferocious winds continue their assault on Florida. With speeds of more than 100 miles an hour, tree and infrastructure damage are a matter of where — not if.
The strong storm is knocking out power from one neighborhood to the next. Florida power and light, the local utility company says more than three million customers were without power by Sunday evening.
“We know that there’s going to be tree damage so we’ve sent some tree crews down there. We know that there’s going to be wires down. There may be entire sections of infrastructure that need to be completely rebuilt,” says Linda Foy with BGE.
Baltimore Gas and Electric is now sending more than 200 workers to Florida.
It’s part of a network of utility companies, that help each other out in times of need.
“It’s long hours. They’re not in the best conditions sometimes. Sometimes they end up sleeping in their trucks because they don’t have hotel rooms,” says Foy.
Florida Power and Light, posted pictures of the restoration crew before the storm hit, calling it the largest workforce of its kind in U.S. History. The 17,000 workers are coming from across the country.
“These guys have done this many times. And a lot of them enjoy going down there and helping another utility get their service back,” says Foy.
Usually, BGE crews go to other locations to help out during these natural disasters, they stay out there for 1-2 weeks. But in this case, crews won’t know what needs to be done until after the storm.
BGE is part of the Exelon family, which is sending a total of 1800 workers to help out in Florida.