OUC deploys crews to north Florida to help with Hermine power outages

Trees down, power out in St. Johns County

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Orlando Utilities Commission is sending help to affected areas in North Florida on Friday.

OUC deployed crews to the panhandle to help restore power for thousands of residents in Tallahassee who had their power knocked out by Hurricane Hermine.

"Remember these guys, we are very fortunate to have some serious experts right here in Orlando. They've helped us become the Reliable One," said Tim Trudell, OUC spokesperson. "And when they go up there they're going to do the same thing. They're going just as hard. They're going to work 16 hours days if they have to. They're going to do everything they can to help our friends in the north."

Hermine made landfall east of St. Marks in the Big Bend area, a part of the coast where the state's peninsula meets the Panhandle. Hermine was downgraded to a tropical storm around 4:45 a.m. as the system moved further inland.

 Florida Gov. Rick Scott says many homes lost electricity as Hermine crossed the state, but so far he's heard of few other "major issues."

 During a Friday morning news conference in Tallahassee, Scott said he's touched base with officials in most of the counties affected by Hermine, which has now moved out of Florida and into Georgia. One man died when a tree fell on him in Ocala.

Scott says damage was still being assessed but he's been told that about 70 percent of the homes in Tallahassee were without power Friday morning. The number rises to 99 percent in Wakulla County on the marshy Gulf of Mexico coastline south of Tallahassee where Hermine made landfall early Friday.

Scott says there's "a lot of tree damage in Tallahassee, and a lot of road damage."

He says schools in 35 counties remain closed Friday and state offices are closed in 37 counties.