NEW YORK – Approximately 85 electric power line restoration workers and support personnel from Con Edison and Orange & Rockland Utilities departed New York Sunday morning to assist in the recovery and restoration efforts from Hurricane Irma.
The crews have been assigned to help with restoration efforts in Tampa, Fl.
An additional 60 private contractors specializing in overhead electrical work and tree clearance were dispatched to assist in the recovery efforts by both utilities Friday.
The company personnel and contractors are joining a massive mutual assistance effort involving thousands of utility personnel from other states.
O&R has taken a number of actions designed to assist and support Florida residents in coping with the destruction their communities have suffered from Hurricane Irma.
Over the weekend, O&R:
- Released approximately 60 O&R contract workers, including overhead electric line technicians and tree removal specialists, so their respective companies could send them to Florida Sunday to prepare to perform electric service restoration and electric system reconstruction once it is safe to work.
- Dispatched 16 O&R employees, including overhead electric line technicians and heavy equipment operators, supervision and support personnel, Sunday to join a larger hurricane-relief contingent from Con Edison. Those combined forces are on their way to Florida to prepare to participate in joint operations to restore power to customers of the Tampa Electric Company (TECO) once it is safe to work.
- Provided assistance to relieve high outage reporting volume at TECO’s Customer Service Call Center. O&R installed a computer app to link its Call Center telephone system to TECO’s, permitting O&R’s own Customer Service representatives to field customer outage reports that were forwarded from Tampa. That assistance will continue into the week.
Approximately 2.5 million electric customers in Florida as of 3 p.m. today have had their electricity knocked out by Hurricane Irma’s destructive winds.
Thousands of utility trucks and workers from across the nation have been streaming into Florida all weekend to be on hand to conduct equipment repair and service recovery operations — and in many cases system rebuilding efforts — once Hurricane Irma passes through the state later this week.
The O&R company crews that left Sunday and are joining with Con Edison to work in Tampa are expected to get as far as South Carolina tonight, and proceed on Monday to a staging area in Florida.
There, they will await word from TECO about when conditions in the Tampa area become safe enough to perform work.
The O&R unit is scheduled to work with the Con Edison group on electric service restoration in Plant City, which is just east of Tampa. The O&R company crews are prepared for a two-week deployment in Florida.