Duquesne Light Crews Head To Florida To Assist Irma Power Restoration Efforts

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – One by one, the Duquesne Light trucks pulled out to make the more than 1,000-mile trek to Florida.

Millions are in the dark after Hurricane Irma swept through the state. This morning, 25 Duquesne Light employees were dispatched from the Woods Run Complex.

The workers volunteered to go.

“The type of work they’ll be doing is assessing and repairing downed power lines. They’ll be repairing damage to other infrastructure and equipment and they’ll also be helping reset poles,” said Jessica Rock with Duquesne Light.

Rock said they will be compensated by Florida Power and Light.

Crews from all over the country are heading down south to help Florida Power and Light with restoration efforts. Even crews as far away as Canada were dispatched to the Sunshine State.

“There’s a mutual assistance network. One of the amazing things about the utility industry, when another utility needs help, they typically reach out to neighboring utilities,” Rock said.

What will make restoration a little easier is the fact that Florida put a sophisticated power system in place after the last hurricane.

“What they did is build more resiliency in the grid. More resiliency and security. So, we call it smart grid improvements. So, they put more intelligence into the grid so some of the equipment and technologies being used are more advanced. Provide a lot of automated restoration. We call them self-healing networks,” said Gregory Reed with the Center for Energy at the University of Pittsburgh.

It could take weeks before electricity is restored.

Crews can’t even begin to assess damage until the rain and winds stops.

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