As we watched the destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Oshawa Power employees took action and began to fundraise to contribute to the Harvey relief fund. With Hurricane Irma close on Harvey’s heels set to cause even more damage, the call for help was received from the Florida utilities to help with the recovery effort and Oshawa Power immediately mobilized and sent the team.
Oshawa Power has joined with other Ontario partners and supplied three journeyman power lineman to aid in the power restoration effort in Florida. Our team crossed the border Friday evening and has made their way already into the heart of the worst area surrounding Miami. As we await to be joined by our Canadian colleagues early reports from our team are the devastation is very severe and the power restoration will take a considerable amount of time. We are proud of our workers for volunteering to be away from their families to help the people and businesses of Florida recover from this devastation.
Hurricane Irma recently made landfall in the U.S. state of Florida as a major hurricane; it was the most intense Atlantic hurricane observed in over a decade. It was also the most intense hurricane to strike the United States since Katrina in 2005, and the first major hurricane to hit the state of Florida since Wilma in 2005. Irma flooded streets, spawned tornadoes, knocked out power to millions of people across the state and snapped massive construction cranes over the Miami skyline.
Nearly 7.2 million homes and businesses were without power in multiple states. The vast majority were in Florida. The state’s emergency management officials said the storm cut power to more than 6.5 million account holders across the state as of Monday afternoon.
As reported to CBS News Eric Silagy, the CEO of Florida Power & Light, said Irma caused the most widespread damage in the company’s history. It affected all 35 counties in the utility’s territory which is most of the state’s Atlantic coast and the Gulf coast south of Tampa. The most extensive damage was likely in the Naples area, but a full assessment was ongoing. He said 19,500 electric workers have been deployed in the restoration effort.
Oshawa Power is proud to answer the call and send its very best to those in need in Florida and be a part of representing Canada in this effort. While we await the safe return of our colleagues we will continue to post regular updates of their progress. We wish them well and ask them to be safe.
To follow our team’s progress please check our website www.opuc.on.ca, or follow us on Twitter or Facebook