Today, a third City crew departed Tallahassee to assist with power restoration efforts in the U.S. Virgin Islands. They will relieve the City’s second crew, which deployed earlier this month and is anticipated to return home on Christmas Day.
“Turning the lights on is what we do,” City of Tallahassee Electric Line Crew Foreman Paul Bailey said. “The people in the U.S. Virgin Islands have experienced real devastation, so when my family and I discussed me going and missing Christmas, we decided that if it could make some of those people’s holiday a little bit brighter, then that’s a gift we needed to give.”
The crews are working as part of a mutual aid agreement coordinated under the Florida Municipal Electric Association (FMEA). The electric grid on many of the U.S. Virgin Islands was decimated. City crews have been working on St. Croix, which had one of the highest percentages of customers without power. While deployed, the crews are working 14-hour days, seven days a week.
“Crews from public power communities across the state, including Tallahassee, continue to lend a helping hand to our fellow Americans in the U.S. Virgin Islands, particularly St. Croix, as they work to get power restored following a particularly violent hurricane season,” said Amy Zubaly, executive director of the Florida Municipal Electric Association. “As crews return home from the U.S. Virgin Islands, we are cycling in fresh crews who will keep power restoration efforts going over the Christmas and New Year holidays. Approximately 40 percent of the customers on St. Croix remain without power, so there is still a lot of work to be done. Our thanks to these dedicated and caring public servants.”
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