Iowa utility workers part of massive effort to fix Florida’s electric system

DES MOINES — Some crews from Iowa are already there and others left Tuesday to be part of an estimated 17,000 utilities workers who are helping Florida turn the power back on after Hurricane Irma.

MidAmerican Energy spokesman Adam Jacobi says the company headquartered in Des Moines sent around 250 workers to Florida.

He says the staging area is in Lake City, Florida and Florida Power and Light is determining where to send the crews. Around 200 Iowa and Wisconsin utility workers from Alliant Energy are heading to Florida today to help out.

The storm left more than 7 million people without power at one point, and Jacobi says it’s a big job to get everything repaired.”There’s a lot of cleanup that has to happen, just restoring wires poles…so this is not going to be an easy quick-fix by any stretch of the imagination,” Jacobi says.

Crews from 30 states and Canada are in Florida or on the way to help restore the power.

Fifteen Iowa electric cooperatives have sent 46 linemen and 26 vehicles to help an electric coop in southeast Georgia restore extensive power outages caused by the hurricane. The Okefenoke Rural Electric Membership Corporation along the Florida-Georgia line reported that 95 percent of its electric system was knocked out by the storm.

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