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Delmarva Power crews head to Florida to assist during Hurricane Dorian

Delmarva Power
Delmarva Power trucks line up before leaving for Florida to assist after Hurricane DorianFriday

Hurricane Dorian is working its way across the Atlantic with Florida in its sights.

And some Delmarva Power employees will spend the holiday weekend heading south to help once the storm hits.

The utility is sending more than 140 staff and contractors to Florida, along with equipment, to help assess damage, then make repairs and restore power.

The group includes Andrew Sykes is Manager of Emergency preparedness for Delmarva Power’s parent company Pepco Holdings.

 “Due to the large amount of rain they’re going to get and the ground already being saturated, they’re expecting trees to fall down very easily," said Sykes. "And with the high amount of wind and with [the storm] slowing down and expecting to be under of the system so long, they’re expecting poles and wire to come down”

Sykes says when they arrive this weekend they’ll likely stay in northern Florida until it becomes clear where the storm is headed and where they are needed.

He notes Florida power companies believe Dorian will be on par with Hurricane Irma, which hit there as Category 4 storm two years ago.

He says out-of-state crews like his stayed in Florida for a week to 10 days helping restore power after Irma. 

And he points out working in Florda presents challenge that crew do not see locally.

 “You have alligators and snakes .  And once you have high water, they loosen up the snakes from the backwaters to bring them put into the open.," said Sykes.  "And they also have a pretty signifcant standing water issue currently with mosquitoes.  So, insect repellant is a number one priority.”

The latest forecast has Dorain making landfall on Florida’s east coast Tuesday morning.

The most recent forecast has Dorain making landfall on Florida’s east coast Tuesday morning – potentially as a Category 4 hurricane.

Tom Byrne has been a fixture covering news in Delaware for nearly three decades. He joined Delaware Public Media in 2010 as our first news director and has guided the news team ever since. When he's not covering the news, he can be found reading history or pursuing his love of all things athletic.