Minnesota crews returning from mutual aid efforts in Bartow, Florida
On Friday, September 30, crews of municipal utility lineworkers and support staff assembled by the Minnesota Municipal Utilities Association (MMUA) arrived in Bartow, Florida to assist in restoring power to customers and repairing damage caused by Hurricane Ian. The crews initially headed to Kissimmee, Florida, but the storm diverted from its projected path, leaving the city’s power systems with less damage than predicted. The MMUA-led crews were then requested by officials on the ground to assist in Bartow.
Each of the four crews included a seasoned journeyman lead, which made crew dispatch more efficient in tackling the diverse challenges they encountered. The damage in Bartow was widespread with mature oak trees blocking roadways, broken poles, wire on the ground, and power outages for thousands of utility customers. Over the weekend, 117 municipal utility workers from across the country, including the 40 members of the Minnesota crews, worked to restore power to citizens. On Wednesday morning, October 5, the Minnesota crews began their trip home after being released by the city of Bartow. MMUA thanks the utilities and communities of Alexandria, Anoka, Austin, Brainerd, Buffalo, Elk River, Marshall, Missouri River Energy Services, Moorhead, New Ulm, Owatonna, Rochester, Shakopee, and Willmar for answering the call to assist hometown power in Florida.