Electric crews from Kansas municipal utilities are heading to Florida to help restore threatened storm damages to city-owned utilities in the path of Hurricane Irma. The electric crews from nine Kansas cities left Thursday afternoon to provide mutual aid assistance to the City of Orlando through the Kansas Mutual Aid Program for Utilities (KSMAP). Utilities across Florida are expecting the worst and are preparing their response by pre-staging electric crews in advance of the hurricane.
Crews from 9 Kansas communities are responding to Florida including: Kansas City Board of Public Utilities, Baldwin City, Chanute, Clay Center Public Utilities, Coffeyville, Gardner, Moundridge, Pratt, and Wellington with 12 crews formed of 30 electric linemen. These crews will help Orlando restore damages from Hurricane Irma to the city-owned electric utility system.
The Kansas utilities coordinated by Kansas Municipal Utilities will team up with the municipal electric crews responding from Missouri through the Missouri Public Utilities Association to assist Orlando. Crews are being dispatched to Florida from as far away as Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Ohio as part of a coordinated national response with the American Public Power Association.
“Kansas has a strong tradition of neighbor helping neighbor in time of disaster,” said Colin Hansen, KMU Executive Director. “Mutual aid is an important program for cities needing help in an emergency or disaster situation. We are pleased to have a committed group of cities that are willing to respond to get resources where they are needed and when they are needed.”
KSMAP is designed to provide mutual aid to participating city-owned utilities that own and operate their own electric, natural gas, water and wastewater systems.
Formed in 1928, Kansas Municipal Utilities is the statewide association representing cities in Kansas operating municipally-owned electric, natural gas, water and wastewater utilities.