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Delmarva Power crews head south to assist with Hurricane Ida clean-up

Joe Irizarry
Delaware Public Media
Delmarva Power trucks prepare to leave to help with power restoraion in Louisiana following Hurricane Ida

Delmarva Power and Atlantic City Electric are sending crews to Louisiana to help restore power following Hurricane Ida.

About 50 lineworkers, leadership, safety, fleet and other support employees are heading south to help get power restored in many areas of hard-hit Louisiana.

They held a safety pre-deployment briefing Monday before departing in about two dozen utility trucks to the hurricane ravaged area. They should get to work there sometime Wednesday afternoon.

They expect to be there for more than two weeks to restore power for residents and businesses in the Baton Rouge area.

"Our job is to go down there and help them, no different than they would help us in the time of need," said Jeff Ziemba, Delmarva Power’s manager of electric operations in New Castle County. "Right now I know their infrastructure is totally destroyed, a lot of poles, a lot of wire, just total damage so we've got all the equipment needed to head down there and there's a lot of obstacles along the way."

Among those obstacles is the traffic heading down I-95 and still dealing with COVID pandemic safety protocols 

Credit Joe Irizarry / Delaware Public Media
Delaware Public Media
Delmarva Power workers prepare to leave for Baton Rouge area Monday to assist with power restoration.

Ziemba says his crew is ready for a bad situation.

"The assessment is being done as we speak," said Ziemba. "So by the time we do get there we will have work ready for us. I think it's going to be another Katrina, another Irma. We were deployed in both of those hurricanes and we're prepared for it we're ready, ready to help."

Ziemba adds assisting Louisiana is no different than the help power companies from other states provide here after storms. He says it’s part of the job. 

Ziemba notes they have enough PPE equipment and tests to ensure everyone’s safety on the trip. 


Joe brings over 20 years of experience in news and radio to Delaware Public Media and the All Things Considered host position. He joined DPM in November 2019 as a reporter and fill-in ATC host after six years as a reporter and anchor at commercial radio stations in New Castle and Sussex Counties.