Columbia County

FPL prepares for Hurricane Ian, deploys workers throughout state to assist

LAKE CITY, Fla. — Thousands of bucket trucks and utility workers flocked to the Columbia County Fairgrounds in Lake City Monday morning.

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While Hurricane Ian is inching closer toward Florida and growing in the Caribbean, Florida Power & Light is gearing up for whatever the storm may bring.

“We’ve activated our emergency response plan and we’re monitoring the Hurricane Ian very closely in the likelihood it moves in the Gulf of Mexico and ultimately impacting somewhere on Florida’s west coast,” explains Mike Mazur, a spokesperson with FPL Utility Crews and companies from over 27 different states that are on standby at the storm processing center.

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FPL gives the crews their storm assignments and then figures out where the need is and which areas need their power restored. Not only are there electrical trucks, there are also vegetation or tree-care trucks. FPL tells Action News Jax that these particular crews focus on loose tree limbs that could fall and cause a power outage.

“Of course the electrical crews are very important for the lines but also the vegetation crews play a crucial role and they are responsible for taking care of downed tree limbs. Of course, it’s these types of objects that cause most of the power outages,” says Mazur.

FPL said it services small pockets of northeast Florida for electricity, but when there is a major storm coming, it extends its services throughout the whole state.