Crews from Ameren Missouri headed for the Orlando early Monday morning, where the day began with several hundred thousand customers in that area alone. There were more than 5 million outages throughout the state of Florida as the day began.
“We’ve been watching their outage numbers go up as we speak,” said Mike Lewis, a supervisor with Ameren Missouri. “Our guys are on their way to help with that and that help is definitely going to be needed.”
126 Missouri workers and 70 trucks are connecting with crews from around the country.
“I think this is probably one of the largest mutual assistance responses if not the largest mutual assistance response to ever occur.”
With out electricity, recovery remains static.
“Life down there will be interrupted until the power comes back on,” said Lewis. “People down there might not have essential social services for a few days until the electric is back up and running. It is critical.” He says top priority will be hospitals and critical infrastructure before heading to homes and commercial areas.
This same group was set to leave Friday, but then things got so bad they weren’t going to have a place to stay—so they turned around and came back.
“The central Florida area was just congested with so many people that out of concern for our workers we decided to hold them back and redeploy them this morning.”
The workers are prepare to stay weeks, if that’s what it takes.
“We want to come help and our guys are very anxious and eager to get down there for the restoration effort.”
He says they will have to spend at least a day assessing the damage and what they need to do before being able to make a dent in the number of outages midweek.