Here’s how Florida linemen work to restore power lost during a hurricane

2 out of 3 million families, businesses had lights back on after Ian within 48 hours thanks to power companies

ORLANDO, Fla. – During hurricanes, and even thunderstorms, it’s common for homes and businesses to lose power.

Close to 3 million families and businesses throughout Florida lost power in Hurricane Ian alone. Of those impacted, almost 2 million had the lights back on within 48 hours because power companies were ready to get results.

Long before landfall, tens of thousands of linemen and other essential crew rolled in from hurricane-hit areas like Louisiana and the Carolinas, and as far away as Canada and California, to get to work as soon as it was safe.

“The first step after a hurricane is assessing the damage,” said Tim Trudell, an OUC spokesperson. “We have trained assessors that will go out in the field and get eyes on the situation and figure out where the biggest problems are.”

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Crews will begin by repairing major infrastructure so that power plants, main transmission lines and substations can transmit electricity. The next priorities are critical public facilities like hospitals, as well as police and fire stations.

Then, crews deal with distribution and secondary lines that power neighborhoods before fixing power outages for individual homes and businesses.

But customers should bear in mind, safety comes first in this dangerous line of work, which includes climbing poles and repairing damaged lines.

“Stuff like natural disasters like that, I mean, it just takes time. You got to be patient. Everyone is doing everything they can out there to get the power restored,” OUC lineman Brian Barnett said.

About 275 line technicians, tree trimmers and safety assessors from out of state came to help after Hurricane Ian. Over a month later, they gathered at the Daytona International Speedway, ready for Nicole, despite just having dealt with Ian.

And when natural disasters strike somewhere else, Florida power companies return the favor.

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About the Author:

Samantha started at WKMG-TV in September 2020. Before joining the News 6 team, Samantha was a political reporter for The Villages Daily Sun and has had freelance work featured in the Evansville Courier-Press and The Community Paper. When not writing, she enjoys travelling and performing improv comedy.