• Florida emergency response teams head to Carolina's

    By: Ryan Nelson , Action News Jax

    Updated:

    Gov. Rick Scott waived Florida Department of Transportation weight restrictions to help emergency response teams leaving the state of Florida.

    Many of those agencies are right here in North Florida.

    JEA is sending 51 people to the Carolinas on Saturday.  

    MORE: Hurricane Florence likely to make landfall near Myrtle Beach

    Electrical coordinator Matthew Stafford is one of 51 heading to the Carolinas to respond to the aftermath of Hurricane Florence.

    He saw disaster relief up close in Puerto Rico.

    Stafford expects to see some of the same in wake of Hurricane Florence, including downed trees and power lines.

    He said the experience of seeing evacuees coming home after the storm stays with him.

    RELATED: Latest info from the National Hurricane Center 

    “It was memorable" to see the damage that they have and us being there to try to get their power back on as quickly as possible, to get their lives back to normal as soon as possible,” Stafford said.

    North Carolina utility companies have already put the call out for more resources.

    JEA spokesperson Gerri Boyce says it’s time to return to the favor to companies that have helped North Florida in the past.

    “We’ll be leaving Saturday. This is what our crews do and they do it very very well,” Boyce said.

    Gainesville Regional Utilities, Lakeland Electric and City of Tallahassee utilities are joining JEA on the trip.  

    “You’re gonna need all hands on deck to get things back up and going for people to get their lives back right,” Stafford said.

    As for other agencies, Florida Power and Light sent 500 employees and contractors ‪starting Tuesday‬.

    The Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department said Wednesday that they’re on standby. 

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