BGE Crews In Florida Part Of ‘Largest Restoration Workforce’ In US History

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Officials say more than 60 percent of Florida is left without power following Hurricane Irma.

They are calling this the largest repair job in United States history, in terms of electricity, and it could take weeks to fix.

Trees down and electrical lines now dangling, are just a glimpse of Irma’s wrath that’s left millions without power.

“It is a magnitude that we just haven’t seen before,” said Eric Silagy, CEO of Florida Power & Light.

At one point, Florida Power & Light had roughly five million outages. The aftermath forced them to assemble the largest restoration workforce in United States history.

“We are ready to deploy, what’s effectively an army,” Silagy said.

Nearly 20,000 crew members are working to restore power. BGE is part of that army, after sending more than 200 employees from Baltimore to Florida.

“We could even be deployed as far south as Miami,” said Burt Jackson, manager of construction and maintenance at BGE. “At this point, we’re not sure how long we’ll be there.”

For now, the focus is on removing debris, which needs to take place before crews can even begin to get lines back up.

“There are pockets of some real destruction, and it’s going to take a while to get power back up for some folks,” Silagy said.

The repairs are expected to take days, likely even weeks, until some are out of the dark.

“It is by far and away the largest in the history of our company,” Silagy said. “That’s unprecedented.”

Officials expect thousands of miles of poles and lines will need to be replaced throughout the state.

About a million people have had power restored. There are over three million Florida customers without power.

Work toward a full restoration began Sunday night, but crews weren’t able to move in the northern part of Florida because of the storm there.

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