Tallahassee-based Florida Municipal Electric Association (FMEA) has activated its mutual aid network and is lining up crews to restore power to areas that will be affected by Hurricane Irma, according to a FMEA statement.
Florida’s public power utilities already account for approximately 1,000 lineworker personnel. Additionally, FMEA is bringing in more than 1,000 lineworkers and hundreds of tree-trimming and debris removal personnel from other parts of the country.
Crews will be coming from Texas, Nebraska, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Oklahoma, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Louisiana, and across New England. Once the storm passes, additional crews from Georgia, Alabama, and the Carolinas will also be pulled in.
“Hurricane Irma is a storm like none other we’ve seen and it will cause catastrophic property damage and widespread power outages in many parts of our state,” said Amy Zubaly, FMEA executive Director. “With many lessons learned during last year’s hurricane season, we are preparing for the worst. We are already bringing in thousands of resources, with many more on the way, so that we can start restoring power as quickly, as safely, and to as many people as possible.”
Mutual aid agreements enable municipal utilities to call on each other for emergency workers and supplies. Florida’s public power utilities benefit from this strong network of partners within Florida and across the country through the American Public Power Association.
Florida’s municipal electric utilities also have forged mutual aid arrangements with the state's investor-owned utilities. These dependable connections have created a reliable system where member utilities both request and offer assistance.
The power supplier to municipal utilities, Florida Municipal Power Agency, also has taken significant steps to secure generation capability after Irma passes.
FMPA General Manager and CEO Jacob Williams issued this statement:
“FMPA and its operating partners have been busy preparing its power plant sites in Key West, Fort Pierce, Kissimmee, Orlando and Port St. Lucie for Hurricane Irma. The plants are as ready as they can be, and we have put contingency plans in place should some of the generating units be impacted by the storm. We are doing all that we can to make sure we can generate power for our member cities during and after the storm.
“Essential plant personnel will be safely sheltered at the plants during the storm. As soon as the storm passes and conditions allow, the generating fleet will be assessed, including the units that were taken offline, for any damage. Generators will then be brought back online, if possible, and as needed."
FMPA will post updates on FMPA’s Facebook and Twitter pages.
Florida Municipal Power Agency (FMPA) is a wholesale power agency owned by 31 municipal electric utilities. Those 31 members serve approximately two million Floridians and employ nearly 3,300 people.