AUSTIN (KXAN) — More than a dozen line workers and personnel from Austin Energy left their homes Wednesday morning to help families in Florida in anticipation of Hurricane Ian.
As of Wednesday morning, the storm was a high-end Category Four expected to hit the Florida peninsula by the afternoon. Ian made its first landfall in Cuba on Tuesday.
Austin Energy said 18 crew members were headed to Jacksonville along with six bucket trucks, three digging derricks and 12 support vehicles in anticipation of the power being knocked out in that community.
The team is prepared to help make repairs for two weeks in Florida, but that time estimate could change depending on Hurricane Ian’s impact.
Austin Energy originally got a request to assist from the American Public Power Association. In the past, the utility has helped the Jacksonville Electric Association with hurricane recovery.
Austin Energy said these collaborations and recovery efforts provide training to its crew members and help create relationships with other utilities in case a natural disaster like this happens in Austin.
The team left at 6:30 a.m. Wednesday from the St. Elmo Service Center in southeast Austin.