MELBOURNE, Fla. (KFOR) – A team of OG&E lineman and support personnel are helping restore power in Melbourne, Florida, following Hurricane Ian.

Fallen tree in Florida. Image courtesy OG&E.

According to an OG&E news release, a fleet of 60 trucks and 95 personnel arrived in Orlando on Tuesday, September 27, and rode out the storm until Thursday, September 29, when they were assigned to aid Melbourne.

Tampa Electric says Ian caused power outages to over 160,000 customers as of Friday. OG&E Manager of Distribution Construction and Storm Response Lead, Chad Guthrie, commented that strong winds caused severe destruction that uprooted trees and downed power poles and lines.

“Due to the high amount of rainfall over the past few days, there was a lot of saturation in the area that’s created a bit of a challenge for our team,” Guthrie said. “It’s taken longer than usual to get the personnel and equipment to critical service areas. Thankfully, the rain is starting to dry up a bit, and today we’ve been able to really dive in with our restoration efforts.” 

Despite the daunting conditions, the crews have been working 16-hour shifts cleaning up electrical conductors damaged by the wind and restoring electricity to southeastern Florida.

“Assisting restoration teams in areas that have experienced natural disasters is central to OG&E’s mission of energizing our neighbors near and far,” Guthrie said. “When it comes to restoring power and dealing with the aftermath of destructive storms, our crews have invaluable knowledge, expertise and resources. It’s an honor and privilege to help in any way we can.”  

As efforts continue in Florida, OG&E is completing daily support and operations in its service areas in Oklahoma and Arkansas.