WESTERVILLE, Ohio (WCMH) – A team from central Ohio is just hours away from starting its trip to Florida before Hurricane Ian hits.
The team is made up of line workers from the Westerville Electric Division, and for some, this will be a trip they’ve gone on before.
The workers are planning on leaving at 5:30 a.m. Tuesday, taking with them a pallet of water for people in Florida and supplies they’ll need for possible power line repairs.
“Then we have all kinds of materials, sleeves for putting wire back together,” said Todd Head, line supervisor with the Westerville Electric Division.
A few trucks from Westerville Electric are packed and ready to go. Head is one of four line workers from the division going to Florida to help with power outages Hurricane Ian might cause.
“I hope if help’s needed that we’re there to help them, but obviously you don’t want to see people devastated like that but, unfortunately, that’s what happens in a hurricane, so we’re just glad to be a part of it and be there to help them restore power,” Head said.
He said the team is taking the supplies they usually carry on trucks, just a lot more of them.
“A lot of times when you get into these situations, they’re having trouble getting materials as well, so we try to bring as much as we can to help out with that situation,” Head said.
Courtney Bailey and Kyle Nance are two of the three other Westerville workers going with Head. This will be Bailey’s first time going on a trip like this. Nance was set to help with Hurricane Dorian in 2019 before the teams were called off.
“Just being first responders and getting there as fast as possible and doing our best to get everyone back up and running,” Nance, a lead lineman, said.
Head went to Florida with a Westerville Electric crew in 2017 to get the lights back on after Hurricane Irma, a trip that lasted three weeks. This time around, they are planning to drive to Georgia Tuesday and Florida on Wednesday.
“They’re just happy we’re there to help them,” he said. “Being out of power is not fun. If you go out of power for an hour or two, we’re not happy. Now think about them being out of power for a week or two.”
As for how long the crew will be in Florida, that will depend on how much damage the storm causes.