OTTAWA — A crew of 14 Hydro Ottawa employees is currently heading to North Carolina in anticipation of Hurricane Florence.
The hydro workers are preparing to join crews from Duke Energy, as American utilities brace for the impending damage from the Category 4 storm forecasted to deliver hurricane-force winds and dangerous storm surges this week, noted a Sept. 12 statement.
The assistance is part of an agreement Hydro Ottawa participates in, offering aid to other utilities across the North Atlantic during times of crisis, lending skilled tradespeople and equipment on a not-for-profit basis as a member of the North Atlantic Mutual Assistance Group.
The group travelling to North Carolina includes 12 powerline technicians, one safety specialist and one supervisor.
The North Atlantic Mutual Assistance Group enables its 29 member utilities to quickly access resources and support whenever assistance is needed to restore power, the release explained.
Hydro Ottawa has sent crews to assist with restoration efforts in Georgia following Hurricanes Harvey and Irma (Sept. 2017) and in Connecticut/New Jersey after Hurricane Sandy (2012). Hydro Ottawa has also offered assistance to Canadian utilities including Hydro Quebec, Toronto Hydro and Hydro One.
“I am proud and grateful to these employees who are heading into the storm to help our American neighbours, as they brace for what could be one of the worst hurricanes to hit the United States in recent memory. The expertise that our crews bring in this specialized trade make them invaluable in this time of need,” said Bryce Conrad, president and CEO of Hydro Ottawa, in a statement.