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Missouri and Akansas municipal utility crews to deploy for Hurricane Dorian recovery

Friday, August 30, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: mpuaonline
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COLUMBIA, MO, AUGUST 30 – Municipal utility line crews from Missouri and Arkansas are preparing to depart for Florida, ready to perform recovery work in the wake of Hurricane Dorian. Organized by the Missouri Public Utility Alliance, 46 utility workers from nine Missouri cities and one city in Arkansas will set out Saturday morning (Aug. 31) for Orlando, preparing to respond to likely power outages after the storm passes.

The combined response of utility workers involves lineworker crews from the Missouri cities of Carthage, Columbia, Hannibal, Higginsville, Hermann, Independence, Odessa, Poplar Bluff, and Rolla, plus a crew from Conway, Arkansas.

The workers will travel to an Orlando staging site, taking equipment that will include 11 bucket trucks, six digger trucks, 14 other work vehicles, and aerial photography drones. The crews are expected to arrive in Orlando on Monday, ready to restore power to Florida municipal utilities in areas affected by the storm. They will join public power utility crews from as many as 20 states that will also journey to Florida to assist in the work.

Florida public power utilities are bracing for the arrival of Dorian on Labor Day or early Tuesday. The storm is forecast to strengthen to a Category 3 or 4 hurricane before making landfall on Florida’s east coast. Preparedness coordinators for the Florida Municipal Electric Association began coordinating earlier this week to line up assistance from the Missouri Public Utility Alliance (MPUA) and other public power agencies and utilities that participate in a national mutual aid network.

The response from Missouri municipal utilities and some cities in Arkansas is coordinated through MPUA’s Mutual Aid Network. The participating crews are from ‘public power’ electric utilities, not-for-profit community-owned electric utilities that serve their individual cities but also have agreements in place allowing staff to assist neighboring communities and states.

Lineworker crews from 14 Missouri municipal utilities have responded nine times in the past year to calls from their neighboring communities for recovery from power outages after winter storms, tornadoes, or high winds. Several times in recent years, Missouri and Arkansas cities in the network have also traveled to assist with hurricane recovery in Florida and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Municipal utilities participating in MPUA’s mutual aid network are reimbursed by the utilities receiving assistance. Nationally, mutual aid agreements organized through the American Public Power Association link more than 2,000 public power and rural electric cooperatives that help each other in times of need.

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