FORT MYERS, Fla.- Power crews from Georgia and Alabama will soon arrive in Southwest Florida to help back up local power companies working to make sure Isaac doesn't disrupt service. Preparing for a storm is a year round job for Florida Power and Light and LCEC workers.
"The LCEC crews are ready to respond 24/7 if there should be any outages as a result of the storm," said LCEC Spokeswoman Karen Ryan.
It's been seven years since FPL customers have been hit by a major hurricane but FPL is ready to roll. They've been clearing vegetation from 12,000 miles of power lines, inspecting 500 power poles daily and strengthening power lines at every major hospital in their service area. This year a brand new command center will help combat a storm's aftermath.
"It's a Category 5 building so it's designed to withstand really the worst kind of storms that mother nature can throw at us and so all of our employees can here at the command center can focus on job one. Which is getting the power restored to all of our customers as quickly as possible," said FPL President Eric Silagy.
On Thursday, FPL was working to identify where to set up staging sites to position trucks, and provide sleeping quarters and food for workers.
"We're prepared to work around the clock to get the power back on but the power will go out and our customers need a plan as well for their own safety and to make sure their families are taken care of," said Silagy.
If the power goes out, workers prioritize hospitals, main thoroughfares, supermarkets and gas stations. At the same time, FPL and LCEC will move into neighborhoods to help restore service to the largest number of customers in the shortest amount of time.
"Every employee at LCEC plays a role in our plan. so we have all other employees are prepared to support our crews out in the field if they need it," said Ryan.