Minnesota municipals to provide 'mutual aid' in response to Florida hurricane call

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Minnesota municipals to provide 'mutual aid' in response to Florida hurricane call

August 30, 2019

Hurricane Dorian intensifies as it approaches Florida, and utilities are preparing for the worst. Those preparations are reaching as far as Minnesota.

In response to a call from Kissimmee, Fla., the Minnesota Municipal Utilities Association is marshalling a group of municipal electric crews to send to Florida. This response is part of a larger effort involving the Florida Municipal Electric Association and the American Public Power Association mutual aid network.

As of Friday morning, 15 Minnesota municipal utilities have pledged to supply 18 crews (36 lineworkers) along with 13 bucket trucks, 1 digger/derrick and several smaller vehicles. Along with coordinating Minnesota’s municipal response, the Minnesota Municipal Utilities Association (MMUA) will provide two safety staff people to serve as crew leads.

The municipal crews will rendezvous in Rochester Saturday, and plan on leaving at 10 a.m. from Rochester Public Utilities.

The plan calls for crews to be pre-positioned within easy distance of damaged areas, to expedite the restoration of electrical service.

Minnesota municipal crews have responded to a number of national disasters in recent years, including Hurricane Irma in 2017, when they worked extensively in Florida cities, including Kissimmee.