More than 1K Duke Energy workers en route to Florida - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

More than 1K Duke Energy workers en route to Florida

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

More than 1,400 Duke Energy line workers from the Midwest, contractors and related support personnel are on their way to Pinellas County, Florida.

The workers left early Saturday from various locations, said Sally Thelen, Duke Energy spokeswoman.

They will repair power outages expected as a result of Hurricane Irma.

Some 770 of the 1,400 workers are from Ohio and Kentucky. They are line workers, tree trimmers, damage assessors and underground specialist. Other workers include administrative, supervisory and safety personnel. 

The crews will report to an area outside Florida to meet with other utility crews and await further instructions.

Then they will be dispatched into the state's storm-damaged areas.

"Because we're a large utility, we can deploy some of our local personnel to help focus on specific storm-damaged areas and restore power to customers more quickly," said Jim Henning, president Duke Energy Ohio and Kentucky.

"Many of these workers are seasoned line crews, having worked in several large-scale storm restoration efforts."

Until the crews return, regular non-emergency work in our region may be rescheduled, according to Duke.

Enough workers will remain locally for any emergencies, they say.

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