PENSACOLA – Gulf Power’s storm team is on the way back from south Florida today after traveling to join and support its sister company Florida Power & Light’s restoration effort following Hurricane Isaias. Approximately 40,000 FPL customers lost power as Isaias traveled up the east coast of the state.
Isaias is now moving further up the coast, threatening the Carolina area with landfall later today.
Nearly 70 Gulf Power lineworkers and support personnel were part of the Gulf Power team that traveled Friday to the Palm Beach area to stage before the storm. Gulf Power’s new community response vehicle, which can serve as a mobile command center for the crews as well as a charging station for customers that are without power, traveled with the team as well.
The Gulf Power team joined around 10,000 personnel from other out-of-state energy companies in the restoration effort. Gulf Power also released approximately 120 contractors to assist the FPL team, including debris removal and power restoration needs. Two teams of contract crews are now heading north to North Carolina to aid Dominion Power with restoration.
“Whenever a tropical system threatens the area, we understand how difficult it is, especially now with COVID-19, to be without power,” said Marlene Santos, president of Gulf Power. “That’s why we are always ready to aid fellow utilities, including our sister company Florida Power & Light in these situations. They would do the same for us if the roles were reversed.”
The crews followed COVID-19 safety guidelines to keep everyone safe, including social distancing, increased sanitation measures and wearing masks where appropriate. In addition, the crews planned to be self-sufficient to limit contact with other teams. Signs on trucks helped remind the public to honor the 6–feet social distancing requirements that help keep the crews safe while they work.
“We are in unprecedented times, so we had to take all necessary measures to keep our crews safe and well as they worked to restore power,” Santos added.
Hurricane Isaias is a reminder that we are in the height of hurricane season. Preparation and safety tips to ensure you and your family are prepared are available at GulfPower.com/storm.