Statement by Amy Zubaly, Executive Director of Florida Municipal Electric Association, regarding Tropical Storm Michael:
“Over the course of this past weekend, the Florida Municipal Electric Association was in contact with public power communities across Florida and the Southeast lining up mutual aid crews prepared to assist affected areas of the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend region following what we expect will be Hurricane Michael.
We are bringing hundreds of mutual aid personnel into the City of Tallahassee. Our goal is to have at least 150 crew members pre-staged in Tallahassee tomorrow in advance of the storm’s landfall with the remainder prepared to arrive Thursday. Crews from Lafayette, Louisiana, will travel to Tallahassee tomorrow and will mobilize alongside crews from many of Florida’s public power utilities. Additional crews from several other states and parts of Florida are also standing by. We are also closely monitoring potential needs in Havana, Chattahoochee, Blountstown and Quincy.
The Florida Municipal Electric Association is able to call on this network of strong support through established mutual aid agreements. Through the American Public Power Association, Florida’s public power utilities can request the assistance of other public power communities across the country during emergencies. Mutual aid partners provide power restoration crew members, supplies and equipment. Florida’s public power communities have also forged mutual aid arrangements with Florida’s investor-owned utilities.
Last year, following Hurricane Irma, the Florida Municipal Electric Association was involved in the largest pre-planned power restoration effort in U.S. history. Through our mutual aid agreements, we lined up more than 2,000 additional public power lineworkers to support the 1,000 public power lineworkers in our communities. Crews and equipment from 200 municipal electric utilities in 26 states and Canada came to assist Florida.”