As Floridians begin to clean up the damage Hurricane Irma left behind, another group of Long Island-based utility workers is heading to Florida Tuesday to help restore electricity to millions of residents and businesses still without power.
PSEG Long Island is dispatching 164 workers — including tree trimmers and line repairers — to Tampa, bringing the total number of workers the electric utility has sent to Florida to more than 480, spokesman Jeff Weir said.
“We’re just happy that we’re doing what we can to help,” he said.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and the Haugland Energy Group, an infrastructure services company based in Plainview, also deployed crews and equipment to assist Floridians as they assess the extent of the destruction.
On Monday, Cuomo sent a fleet of Black Hawk helicopters and 55 members of the New York National Guard, 26 from Long Island, to assist in rescue efforts. Four of the 10 helicopters left from the National Guard’s Army Aviation Flight Facilities in Ronkonkoma.
Some of the aircraft are capable of hauling supplies and people, said Eric Durr, a spokesman for the New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs. Pilots, crews and other personnel landed in Richmond, Virginia, Monday afternoon. They are scheduled to arrive in Jacksonville, Florida, Tuesday.
Florida Power and Light, the nation’s third-largest utility, requested help from PSEG Long Island and the Haugland Energy Group, which sent 250 workers and more than 200 pieces of equipment, according to a company spokesman.
As of Monday, the Haugland Energy crews were , Florida, waiting for their orders.
During emergencies, utilities share resources, including labor and equipment, and the associated costs are reimbursed by the utility that requested the help.