UPPCO crews return from Hurricane Irma restoration effort

Upper Peninsula Power Company workers remove a tree from a power line near Fort Meyers, Florida. Eight linemen and a supervisor were deployed on Sept. 12 to assist Florida Power companies in restoring power to residents in the southern portion of the state. The UPPCO employees recently returned home. (Photo courtesy of UPPCO)

MARQUETTE — Upper Peninsula Power Company crews have returned from Florida after assisting with the Hurricane Irma restoration effort.

Eight linemen and a supervisor were initially deployed to the Tampa, Fla., area where they assisted TECO Energy during their first week of deployment, according to a news release from UPPCO.

As restoration efforts were wrapping up near Tampa, Florida Power and Light requested the assistance of the UPPCO crews further south in the hard-hit area near Fort Meyers. The crews assisted FP&L for an additional week before returning home. UPPCO crews mobilized from Houghton, Ishpeming, Munising and Escanaba in four utility service trucks, one pickup truck and a supply trailer to support the restoration effort alongside other utility workers from across the nation.

“Upper Peninsula Power Company received numerous emails and calls from Floridians during the past couple of weeks expressing their heartfelt gratitude for the support we were able to provide,” said Jodi Formolo, director of customer service at UPPCO, in the release. “It’s inspiring to know our colleagues were able to contribute to the overall effort to restore power to the areas that were hit by Hurricane Irma.”

“UPPCO supported the restoration effort under Mutual Aid and Assistance agreements we maintain through our utility affiliations,” said UPPCO’s Vice President Brett French. “We are proud to have been able to assist and are grateful to our employees who volunteered to make the trip.”