DEMEC Crews Head to Florida for Mutual Aid

SMYRNA, DE – The Delaware Municipal Electric Corporation (DEMEC), in coordination with the American Public Power Association (APPA) and public power utilities from across the country, sent crews to Florida in advance of Dorian’s arrival. At 6:00AM this morning, nine lineworkers and six bucket trucks from the DEMEC member communities of the City of Milford, City of Newark, and Municipal Services Commission of the City of New Castle met at Milford Public Works to embark on their journey to Jacksonville, FL for staging before they reach their destination in New Smyrna Beach, FL.

DEMEC’s crews will be joining the more than 1,500 mutual aid lineworker volunteers, 6,000 employees, including 1,000 lineworkers, from Florida’s 33 public power communities, all of whom will be working around the clock before, during and after the storm. 

As of August 31, crews from at least 36 states, D.C., and Canada offered their services and resources to assist any needs that may arise post storm. Workers and equipment will be pre-positioned in the areas most likely to be hit. Dorian slammed into the Bahamas on Sunday, Sept. 1 with winds of 185 miles per hour and continued to hammer the Bahamas as a Category 5 hurricane on Sept. 2. The ultimate trajectory of the system remained unclear as of Monday morning.

DEMEC’s COO – SVP Power Supply, Kimberly Schlichting, serves on the APPA Mutual Aid Working Group and as the Mutual Aid Network Coordinator for Region III, representing Delaware. “Mutual aid is at the core of public power,” Schlichting stated, “there is nothing more powerful than people helping people.”

Back in 2012, DEMEC was feverishly asking for assistance from fellow public power utilities as Hurricane Sandy approached the East Coast. “We were lucky that the storm passed us, and our communities experienced barely any outages,” Schlichting recalls, “But if we needed the help, crews were already on their way prepared to bring our electric systems back up. That’s the true power of public power.”

Delaware electric crews head to Florida to assist ahead of Hurricane Dorian