LANCASTER, Pa. -- Forty five utility crew members from Pennsylvania have volunteered their time and are heading down to Florida ahead of Hurricane Dorian, to help prepare for the aftermath of the storm.
Utility Workers, trucks, and equipment left from their service center in Lancaster County on Friday morning. The trip will be broken down into two days and they'll be stationed somewhere outside of the path of the storm.
PPL says they are sending both utility crews and trucks to help support Light and Duke Energy Florida, and Florida Power with responding to the aftermath of the outages expected from Hurricane Dorian.
The volunteer workers are from Lancaster County and the Lehigh Valley area.
PPL Electric says it took them no time at all to gather the volunteers for Florida.
"A lot of the guys going say it’s the highlight of their career when they get to help with storm restoration they love seeing the smiles on peoples faces when they fix outages. In the past, families have made them dinners or baked them cakes as a thank you after they restore their power," says their Regional Affairs Director, Jess Baker.
Once down there, PPL will be directed by home utility on where to go.
“It’s a mutual assistance agreement and the utility that’s impacted puts out a call in this case FPL needs about 10,000 crews so we check and see how many crews we can spare without impacting our work and customer and that's how we came up with the 45 were sending," says Baker.
Engineers are also part of the crew, they are bringing drones to see above downed trees and swampy areas. Baker says this helps them see what needs to be fixed with the power lines, and allows them to bring in the right equipment and people. She says it's a big time saver.
PPL Utility crews left from Manheim Township around 9:00 a.m., on Friday. This isn't the only time PPL has assisted with hurricane restoration, they were in Florida following Hurricane Irma and in Puerto Rico for almost a month after Hurricane Maria.
As Hurricane Dorian inches closer to Florida, just in time for the Holiday weekend it continues to strengthen.
The Governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis has declared a State of Emergency for all 67 counties there, He says every Florida resident should have a weeks worth of food, water, and medicine to prepare. He says he will continue to monitor the storm with Emergency Management Officials.