Power companies to send help in Ian’s aftermath

With Hurricane Ian now labeled a tropical storm and heading back into the Atlantic Ocean, help is beginning to flow from Mississippi into Florida to assist in the recovery.  

Entergy spokesman Robert Johnston Thursday morning said that Entergy Mississippi had sent 124 workers to aid in the restoration of power after the storm.  

“Forty contract line workers left for the Atlanta area yesterday (Wednesday) to help Georgia Power, which will assign them specific locations when they see where crews are needed,” Johnston said. “Sixty-eight contract vegetation workers headed to Lake City, Florida Wednesday to await location assignments from Florida Power & Light Company. We sent 16 contract vegetation workers on Tuesday to support Tampa Electric.”

While no Entergy Mississippi employees are currently providing assistance, Johnston said that is subject to change if another request comes from an affected utility.  There also is no timeline about when the workers will return,” Johnston said. 

“The contract workers that we sent are baseload contractors, meaning they are under contract with Entergy Mississippi to provide ongoing work on a daily, or near-daily basis,” Johnston explained. “We typically send these workers first when another utility requests mutual assistance, before offering our Entergy employees as a resource.”

Gov. Tate Reeves Wednesday announced 20 National Guardsmen were being sent from Mississippi to Florida to aid in recovery and cleanup.  

Northcentral Electric Cooperative spokesman Michael Bellipanni said it appears likely the cooperative will send help in mutual aid to Florida cooperatives hit by the hurricane.

“While some have already sent help, we are awaiting damage assessments to determine what is needed,” Bellipanni said. “At this point, contractors and crews in the state are being staged and materials are being delivered. Our statewide association, the Electric Cooperatives of Mississippi are in touch with their counterparts in Florida ready to quarterback deployments.”

As of Thursday afternoon, it was not a certainty, but Bellipanni said it was looking like crews representing Northcentral would be heading to Florida either Sunday or Monday.

Bob Bakken

Bob Bakken is the most recognized and most trusted name in DeSoto County news and sports reporting, as readers continue to express their appreciation for his accuracy and fairness in the stories he writes. Bob is also heard on 95.3 The Rebel twice a week with sports updates and high school football play-by-play broadcasts in the fall. A former newspaper editor and writer, his award-winning background also includes television news producing, sports media relations, and radio broadcasting.

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