Utility sends 822 workers to Texas

TAMPA BAY, FLORIDA - More than 800 employees and contract workers from Progress Energy are bound for Texas to help restore power after Hurricane Ike.

That is more workers than Progress Energy sent to the northern Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005.

Of the 822 workers deployed, 380 will come from Florida and 442 from the Carolinas, the utility said. The company sent 385 of its employees and 437 contract workers.

The workers are a mix of company line and service crews, transmission line technicians and support personnel.

In addition, contract line and tree crews with their vehicles and equipment will be sent.

The company expects the workers to be in Texas for about two weeks. The region is mopping up after Hurricane Gustav.

The crews are being sent as part of the Southeastern Electric Exchange that utilities use to provide mutual aid after storms. The utility requesting the help pays for the workers.

None of the costs are paid by Progress Energy customers, according to the company.

At the height of the storm, 3 million people were without power in Texas, and 180,000 homes and businesses were without electricity in Louisiana from damage caused by Ike and Gustav.


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