Duke, FP&L ready linemen for outages caused by Dorian

Thousands of power restoration crews are on standby, ready to take action if there are any mass power outages in Florida.

One of the statewide command centers is located in Pinellas County.

The president of Duke Energy Florida said crews are already starting to see impacts for some of their customer’s on Florida’s east coast.

Energy builds inside the Duke Energy Distribution Control Center, where they are waiting, watching, and prepared to deploy their crews as the worst of Dorian churns off Florida’s southeastern coast.

“We are already starting to see some of the impacts on our customers from the storm. We are on high alert,” explained Duke Energy President Catherine Stempien.

Just under 600,000 thousand customers could be affected by the storm. There are about 6,500 restoration crews ready to go from Clearwater, Davenport, and in The Villages.

Many of the linemen have traveled from the north and Midwest to stage in what they call Muster Fields.

“Those crews with their resources and their vehicles are waiting; they are waiting in a safe place to see when they are going to need and where they are going to need to be deployed,” Stempien said.

Florida Power and Light, the state’s largest utility company, said it has 17,000 personnel ready under their emergency response plan. Its fleet of trucks was lined up as far as the eye could see at Daytona International Speedway.

“We are ready to respond with the largest pre-restoration workforce in our company’s history,” said FP&L Chief Communications Officer Dave Reuter.

It’s impossible to know how many customers will lose power, and how quickly it will take to restore their service, but utility companies said they’ve have done everything they can to be ready.