Indiana line workers helping to restore power after Irma

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — About 60 line workers from Indiana’s electric cooperatives are heading south to help restore power in areas affected by Hurricane and Tropical Storm Irma.

Officials with Indiana Electric Cooperatives say the workers will leave the state Tuesday to work with electric cooperatives near Macon, Georgia. Crews plan to work in two-week shifts until power is restored.

The organization’s release says line crews from any U.S. electric cooperative can join the effort because the network of transmission and distribution infrastructure owned by cooperatives is built to federal standards.

Kosciusko REMC deployed a crew to join the co-op, it announced Monday.

“With the storm expected to move into Indiana we do need to consider the needs of our members at home first, but there is no question our guys are eager to help those trying to rebuild after the storms,” said Bruce Goslee, president and CEO of KREMC. “They take tremendous pride in representing KREMC and the state of Indiana.”

Tracy Warner from I&M told NewsChannel 15 that it sent more than three dozen of its employees and more than 200 contractors who work for I&M to Florida. A little more than half of them are line workers and the remainder are in forestry, Warner said.

Irma has swamped homes, uprooted massive trees, flooded streets, cast boats ashore, snapped power lines and toppled construction cranes. More than 6.2 million homes and businesses are without power.

Officials have warned it could take weeks for electricity to be fully restored.