Hydro One announced today (9/11) that it will mobilize 175 employees down to Florida to help with the Hurricane Irma relief efforts. The hurricane, now downgraded to a Category 1 storm, has caused catastrophic flooding and damage to Florida and much of the Caribbean since it hit the region last week.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the people in Florida as well as everyone else in the path of Hurricanes Irma, Harvey and Jose," said Greg Kiraly, Chief Operating Officer, Hydro One.
"We are proud of Hydro One's long-standing history of responding to help other communities in need. Hydro One's highly skilled employees are trained to work on both transmission and distribution systems as well as in storm and emergency situations, making them incredibly valuable resources during a devastating hurricane. Access to electricity can be a lifeline in a disaster and our crews are determined to help restore power to the families and businesses in Florida as quickly and safely as possible."
Hydro One will send 150 lines and forestry staff, as well as 25 supporting resources, including mechanics, to help with the much-needed restoration efforts. Crews will bring 52 bucket trucks to Florida, as well as 30 other vehicles and pieces of equipment to transport and replace poles.
Crews are expected to cross the Canada/U.S. border in Niagara region, Thousand Islands, Pigeon River and Fort Frances on Monday afternoon and are expected to reach the affected areas by Wednesday.
As part of the North Atlantic Mutual Assistance Group, Hydro One had been participating in National Response Event discussions regarding deployment of resources in the hours leading up to Sept. 9, when it received an official request for help from Florida Power and Light.
Hydro One has reciprocal agreements in place with North American utilities to provide assistance during significant power outages. In these mutual assistance situations, all costs are covered by the utility receiving the help.
"We want to thank our employees in advance for leaving their families to help our neighbours in need. The commitment of our employees to assist during times of crisis is something every Ontarian should be proud of," said Kiraly.
Hydro One is a leader in safety and storm restoration efforts.
In 2017, Hydro One was awarded the prestigious Emergency Recovery Award by the Edison Electric Institute for its power restoration efforts after a severe winter storm ravaged most of Ontario in March 2016. During that storm, approximately 1,450 Hydro One workers braved hazardous conditions for a total of 97,000 hours to restore power to nearly 105,000 customers who were affected at the peak of the storm.
In the past, Hydro One has sent crews to Massachusetts, Michigan, Florida, Ohio, Vermont, Washington, DC, and the Carolinas. In July 2012, Hydro One dispatched 200 employees to Washington, Baltimore and Virginia after a devastating wind storm knocked out power to more than three million homes and businesses. A few months later, in November 2012, 225 Hydro One employees travelled to Long Island, N.Y., to assist in the Hurricane Sandy restoration efforts. That year, Hydro One was awarded the Edison Electric Institute's prestigious Emergency Assistance Award for supporting the June 2012 Mid-Atlantic and Midwest derecho and Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts.
About Hydro One Inc.:
Hydro One Inc. is a fully owned subsidiary of Hydro One Limited, Ontario's largest electricity transmission and distribution provider with more than 1.3 million valued customers, $25 billion in assets and annual revenues of over $6.5 billion. Our team of 5,500 skilled and dedicated employees proudly and safely serves suburban, rural and remote communities across Ontario through our 30,000 circuit km high-voltage transmission and 123,000 circuit km primary distribution networks. Hydro One is committed to the communities we serve, and has been rated as the top utility in Canada for its corporate citizenship, sustainability, and diversity initiatives. We are one of only four utility companies in Canada to achieve the Sustainable Energy Company designation from the Canadian Electrical Association. We also provide advanced broadband telecommunications services on a wholesale basis utilizing our extensive fibre optic network. Hydro One Limited's common shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: H). For more information about everything Hydro One, please visit www.HydroOne.com.
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