Pacific Gas and Electric employees are headed to Florida to help restore power in areas that are expected to be in the path of Hurricane Irma.
PG&E Employees Headed To Florida To Help With Hurricane Irma
Crews totaling 127 people are expected to fly out of Sacramento 6:30 a.m. Friday.
Crews began signing in and checking their equipment at the utility corporation yard in Davis Thursday.
"I have my rubber gloves, my tools, ready to roll," says Juan Galvan, of Turlock. He says he is excited to make the trip.
"Since Sunday, I was up working in Oakhurst on the fires over there and I got pulled off to go to Florida," said Galvan. "So, it's pretty awesome they asked me to go. So, I'm looking forward to it."
Leigh Baker is a general construction supervisor for PG&E and is organizing the operation. He says crews will ride out the storm in hotels or bunkers in West Palm Beach that are "Category Five Hurricane Rated" and will get to work as soon as the storm passes.
"It's all relative to what happens, whether it's floods or wind or rain," said Baker. "In this case, more than likely it's gonna be wind damage due to the driving, what, 175 to185 mph winds they're still clocking. I hope it's a lot less when it gets there. But, mostly wind damage, broken poles, wire damage, tree-free lines, and then hazardous water conditions as well."
James Crowhurst is an equipment operator for the utility.
"I like to think when you see something like this going on that you can go out and help and do things and help people get their stuff back together," he said. "We're very fortunate here in California that we don't have big stuff like that."
Crowhurst was on a crew that went to New York in 2014 in response to a devastating storm.
"Pretty tore up. Lots of piles of garbage outside of houses from all the basements. It was pretty bad, a lot of people in bad ways," said Crowhurst.
PG&E and Florida Power & Light have a mutual aid agreement. The Florida utility was in California last summer helping crews restore power during fire season.