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Delaware utility workers following Dorian, preparing for landfall

Utility crews sent from Delaware are following Hurricane Dorian as the storm makes its way up the Atlantic coast. 

More than 140 staff and contractors with Delmarva Power were deployed to Florida earlier this week to help restore power to that area. The group has since made its way back up to Florence, North Carolina nearer to where the storm is expected to make landfall. 

Andrew Sykes is Manager of Emergency Preparedness for Delmarva Power’s parent company Pepco Holdings. He says the workers are now staging at the Florence Civic Center. 

“This is more or less a base camp where we will come back to every night, get food, bed down, get our orders for the next day and they go to restore customers,” said Sykes. 

Sykes says he expects his crew will follow the storm up the coast and then make their way back to the Delmarva Peninsula. 

“Hopefully it won’t impact customers back up in Delmarva, but once we take care of customers here in North Carolina we’re going to help our brothers and sisters up in Delmarva,” he said.

Another group of nine linemen with the Delaware Municipal Electric Corporation (DEMEC) were also deployed to Florida earlier this week. 

Scott Blomquist is the Electric Utility Manager for the city of New Castle. He told Delaware Public Media Wednesday the group was driving north awaiting orders from DEMEC.

“The utility New Smyrna Beach in Florida didn’t need us as of 8:30 this morning so they released us and we are hoping to be reassigned to a utility in North Carolina or South Carolina,” said Blomquist. 

The Delaware crews are part of more than 1,500 mutual aid lineworker volunteers and 6,000 employees deployed to restore power in the wake of Hurricane Dorian.

The storm is expected to slam into the Carolinas Thursday afternoon.

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