More Westar Energy crews leave for Florida after Hurricane Irma

Westar Energy line trucks are parked Saturday in Orlando, Fla., along with those of contracting companies. Monday those crews reported to the Miami area, while an additional eight crews left Kansas for Florida. (Submitted)

As Floridians took stock in the damage following powerful Hurricane and Tropical Storm Irma Monday, more crews from Westar Energy hit the road to assist in the recovery.

 

Westar sent eight crews, or about 40 employees, last week ahead of the storm. An additional eight crews left Monday morning and should arrive in Florida Tuesday night, spokeswoman Gina Penzig said in a release.

The crews are assisting Florida Power & Light, which has more than 18,000 workers helping to restore power. The first dispatch of Westar employees arrived in Orlando Saturday night and reported to a Miami suburb Monday to help.

About 290 contractors, who normally assist Westar Energy, are also headed to Florida, including about 140 linemen and 150 tree trimmers, the company said.

Florida emergency management officials estimate nearly 12.5 million residents remain without power, The Associated Press reported Monday evening. The biggest outages are in Miami-Dade County (801,648) followed by Broward (629,134) and Palm Beach (505,520). Hendry County in the southwest part of the state is the only county listing 100 percent outages.

Crews have been sent from Topeka, Lawrence, Wichita, Leavenworth, Salina, Hutchison and other Kansas communities, the release said.

 

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