State offers crews to clear way for power restoration

By The News Service of Florida

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - With power still out to nearly 350,000 utility customers in Northwest Florida after Hurricane Michael, Gov. Rick Scott on Friday said crews continue to be needed to clear roads and rights-of-way for utility workers.

“We are doing everything we can to help our utility companies to get the power back on. We have some push crews that we’ve offered to all of the utilities to make sure they can get the power back on,” Scott told reporters outside the Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee before heading for tours of Mexico Beach and Marianna.

Michael came ashore Wednesday in Mexico Beach as a Category 4 storm with 155 mph sustained winds and plowed north through parts of the Panhandle and Big Bend into Southwest Georgia as a Category 2 storm.

Scott said the “push” crews that the state has offered “try to clean things up and make it easier for when the power companies go in there with their utility crews.”

Pensacola-based Gulf Power has estimated that it could take weeks to rebuild its infrastructure in the hardest-hit areas, such as the Panama City area.

Counties that had little or no power Friday morning were Calhoun, Gadsden, Jackson, Liberty, Washington, Franklin, Gulf, Holmes and Bay, according to the state Division of Emergency Management.

News Service of Florida