Local power companies ready to call in out-of-state linemen ahead of Hurricane Dorian

OUC, KUA, FPL and Duke Energy preparing for possible direct hit

By Nadeen Yanes - Reporter

ORLANDO, Fla. - Outside of the Orlando Utilities Commission's operations center are two big fuel tankers ready to be filled up and sent out to substations and power plants ahead of Hurricane Dorian. 

This, while crews inside are working on logistics, calling to make sure that linemen from across the country could be ready on a Labor Day weekend to help restore power after the storm, if needed. 

"We will be making those calls very soon," said Tim Trudell, spokesperson for OUC The Reliable One. 

In 2017, Trudell said OUC brought in crews from 17 different states to help restore power within six days.

Trudell said then that Hurricane Irma knocked out power to 145,000 of their 250,000 customers, which is about 60%. Those customers had a loss of power for about two to three days on average, Trudell said. He said they will decide Thursday whether they will be calling those crews in. 

OUC is encouraging customers to sign up for its new text alert system, which was put in place in 2018. However, this is the first time it could benefit customers during a hurricane. Customers need to first register by texting REG to 69682 (myouc). 

"This will ensure they have the information they need during the storm," Trudell said. "During the storm, you can text 'OUT' to 'myouc' or (69682) as well. That is to ensure that we know that your residence is out," Trudell said.

The same goes for power companies Florida Power & Light, Duke Energy and Kissimmee Utility Authority, according to a request put in by News 6. 

Duke Energy: 

"While we continue to have discussions regarding our crews and additional resources from across our system (Carolinas and Midwest) and other utilities, we have not made any decisions at this time. We do have Mutual Assistance Agreements between Duke Energy Florida and other utilities to ensure resources are secured and deployed in a timely manner. We work with the Southeastern Electric Exchange to coordinate Mutual Assistance."

Click here for Duke Energy's text alert system.

Kissimmee Utility Authority: 

"We began internal logistics meetings yesterday and put employees on notice for the holiday weekend.

"We've also asked to be placed in the queue for mutual aid assistance with the possibility of doing some pre-staging of outside crews prior to storm landfall, if needed. We will make that decision over the next 24-36 hours."

Click here for more KUA's alert system.

FPL: 

"In a 'wait and see' mode right now, but there is a plan in place. They are continuing to monitor the situation and are encouraging customers to have a plan in place as well."

Click here for FPL's text alert system.
 

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