From left, FKEC journeymen linemen Rudy Vega, David Ragland, Jordan Quade, Rob Christensen, John Stofko, and Josh Nicolay prepare to head to southwest Florida to assist Glades Electric Cooperative with Hurricane Ian power restoration work. CONTRIBUTED

Florida Keys Electric Cooperative sent crews, equipment, and material to assist with Hurricane Ian power restoration in Florida on Friday. 

Three two-person FKEC journeymen linemen teams and a line superintendent with three bucket trucks, a pickup truck and a digger truck towing a back-yard lift are responding to the request for assistance from Glades Electric Cooperative. Glades provides power to over 17,000 accounts in portions of Glades, Hendry, Highlands and Okeechobee counties. 

In response to a request for help in their warehouse, FKEC also sent a general storekeeper to Peace River Electric Cooperative, whose service area extends from Ruskin on Florida’s west coast to near Vero Beach.

From left, FKEC Line Superintendent Billy Goodwin, with linemen John Stofko, Rob Christensen, Josh Nicolay, Jordan Quade, Rudy Vega, David Ragland, and General Storekeeper Jerry Betancourt head out to help with Hurricane Ian storm restoration work. The line crews will report to Glades Electric Cooperative, and Bentancourt will assist Peace River Electric with their stores and inventory. CONTRIBUTED

“At FKEC, we know all about the importance of mutual aid. Five years ago, we had outside assistant crews here helping us restore power after Hurricane Irma,” said CEO Scott Newberry. “This will be a marathon, not a sprint, and we will continue working with our fellow electric cooperatives to support them however we can.”

While this is a critical situation, COO John Stuart reinforced the importance of safety to the crews before they left, saying, “You will be working in an urgent situation, but safety cannot be sacrificed. We know you will do a great job and come home safe.”