GP&L Work in Florida Continues After Hurricane Irma
GARLAND, Texas – September 14, 2017 Garland Power & Light (GP&L) linemen continue to work on restoring power to Florida residents affected by Hurricane Irma. The four crews, a total of 13 employees, arrived Monday afternoon in New Smyrna Beach to begin assisting the Utilities Commission, City of New Smyrna Beach (UCNSB). All of UCNSB’s 26,000 customers were without power due to the hurricane.
“Our men are holding strong and are happy to be here helping out,” GP&L Distribution Coordinator Richard Martinez said. “The locals are very appreciative and are always offering up whatever they have to help out.”
After morning meetings, GP&L crews head out for the day to work on assigned power lines. As lines are restored, the linemen can take on new assignments. Currently, the men are working 16-hour days.
“The linemen are in good spirits. They have taken to the long days and short nights well,” Martinez said.
After GP&L crews are released from New Smyrna Beach, they will be reassigned to another public power utility that is requesting assistance. During and after severe weather events, GP&L is called upon through mutual aid agreements to help other utilities experiencing widespread outages. Currently, GP&L is working through an American Public Power Association (APPA) mutual aid agreement.
Public power utilities across the country have been sending aid to areas affected by Hurricane Irma. APPA reports a force of nearly 60,000 linemen from public power, investor-owned and rural cooperatives is working to restore power. As of 8 a.m. Thursday morning, Sept. 14, 2.6 million customers were still without power in Florida.
Hurricane Irma made landfall in Florida on Sunday morning, Sept. 10, causing widespread destruction and knocking out power for more than 6 million electric customers.