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Austin Energy crews deploy to help Jacksonville, Florida with restoration

September 10, 2017

Early on Sunday, Sept. 10, Austin Energy crews loaded up and started making their way to Jacksonville, Florida to assist Jacksonville Electric Authority (JEA) with restoration from damage after Hurricane Irma. JEA, also a community-owned utility, reached out to Austin Energy prior to the storm’s arrival in anticipation of extensive damage from the storm.

Five Austin Energy crews (31 AE employees) and two City of Austin Fleet Services mechanics will make the ~1,000-mile trip to Florida and are expected to arrive the evening of Monday, Sept. 11.

The crews are driving as a convoy in pickups, bucket trucks and boom trucks/derricks with small cranes to set poles and are hauling other necessary equipment such as a pole trailer, material trailers and back yard equipment. Along with the two fleet mechanics, 27 linemen, one coordinator, two supervisors and one superintendent will make the trip. JEA will reimburse Austin Energy for the assistance.

After Tropical Storm Harvey hit Austin, the utility restored power to more than 79,000 customers, replaced 50 poles and responding to more than 2,000 calls about low wires, downed wires, tree limbs on a wire or arcing wires. Five contract crews deployed to the Texas coast Aug. 31 to assist in restoration after Hurricane Harvey made landfall, but no Austin Energy crews were sent because by the time restoration and most cleanup was done in Austin, the need had been fulfilled.


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