SAN ANTONIO – CPS Energy dispatched crews to Florida on Wednesday morning to assist in restoring power to areas affected by Hurricane Ian.
The crews were sent following a request from the Jacksonville Electric Authority (JEA).
“Our crews are among the best in the business at getting the lights back on quickly and safely in all kinds of weather conditions,” said CPS Energy President & CEO Rudy D. Garza. “When JEA reached out to us, I immediately called the CEO and told him we’d answer the call. We are One Team here in our community and for our fellow neighbors in need halfway across the country.”
Nearly 40 employees, including overhead linemen, pole crew, fleet personnel and safety teams left San Antonio’s East Side Service Center and will now make their way caravan-style to Jacksonville.
CPS Energy said they are traveling in 17 vehicles, comprised of six bucket trucks, three pole setting trucks, along with other support equipment. The team will drive to Mobile, Alabama to rest overnight while they await their assignments for any affected areas in Jacksonville. CPS Energy said they are prepared to provide assistance for up to two weeks.
Heavy rain and wind gusts from Hurricane Ian are expected in the Jacksonville area late Wednesday through Saturday. CPS Energy will be helping get the power back for impacted JEA customers.
Hurricane Ian intensified into an extremely dangerous Category 4 storm as it approached Florida early Wednesday, according to the Associated Press. Florida residents are rushing to board up their homes, stash precious belongings and flee. Cuba also went dark after Hurricane Ian knocked out its power grid.
A press release said If Hurricane Ian wreaks the damage anticipated, the storm restoration effort will mark the third time in six years CPS Energy has provided assistance to JEA. Back In September 2017, crews were called when more 100,000 customers were without power following Hurricane Irma. And in October 2016, CPS Energy helped restore power for 150,000 customers in the wake of Hurricane Matthew.