More than 2,000 out-of-state lineworkers responded to Florida’s call for mutual aid
ORLANDO, Fla., Oct. 20, 2017 – Florida’s municipal electric utilities and more than 2,000 lineworkers from 170 public power utilities in 24 states were recognized Thursday for their efforts to help restore power after Hurricane Irma.
The Florida Municipal Power Agency (FMPA) and the Florida Municipal Electric Association (FMEA) created a special sticker thanking lineworkers for their non-stop work to restore power to more than 800,000 public power customers. The stickers are viewed as a badge of honor by lineworkers, who like to place them on their hard hats, utility trucks and equipment.
“We called and the lineworkers answered,” said Amy Zubaly, FMEA Executive Director. “They didn’t hesitate to leave their homes and families to rush to our aid. We can’t thank them enough.”
“People helping people is what public power is all about,” said Jacob Williams, FMPA General Manager and CEO. “These lineworkers worked around the clock to get the lights back on in our member cities. We couldn’t have done it alone.”
Irma was a powerful and catastrophic hurricane that made landfall in South Florida and impacted most of the state, all of Georgia, parts of Alabama and other states. Nearly 7 million customers in Florida lost power.
This was the largest pre-planned power restoration effort in U.S. history. Lineworkers traveled from the following places to assist Florida’s municipal electric utilities with power restoration: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin, the New England area and Canada.
Together, these lineworkers were able to restore power within 48 hours to more than 75 percent of Florida’s municipal electric utility customers, and 98 percent of customers had power within a week.
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Florida Municipal Power Agency (FMPA) is a wholesale power agency owned by 31 municipal electric utilities. FMPA’s mission is to provide power that is competitively priced, reliable and clean, as well as provide value-added services for its owner-customers. The 31 members of FMPA serve approximately two million Floridians and employ nearly 3,300 people.