SAGINAW COUNTY (WJRT) - (09/13/18) - Even though the storm is hundreds of miles away, Mid-Michigan utility crews are preparing for Hurricane Florence.
"Everybody's on standby, individuals have been notified, they're just sitting in a holding pattern. And then once we know we're needed, then crews that have been identified and established will begin to head out," said Community Affairs Regional Manager Kelley Peatross with Consumers Energy.
Peatross said Consumers Energy is part of the Great Lakes Mutual Assistance Group. Together with the National Response Executive Committee help is being coordinated for the Carolinas.
"We're all on the same page, so we're constantly having conversations and talking to make sure that everyone receives what they need," Peatross said.
Already the first wave of utility workers from other states have left their families and are available to help after Hurricane Florence hits.
Last month we needed the help when storms knocked out power to more than 270,000 homes and businesses. "Employees from states in Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois that came over, across the border to assist us," Peatross said.
Now it's time to return the favor.
Peatross added sending crews to help safely and quickly restore power out east is a balancing act. "We don't just let our crews and fleet go, we make sure that we're protected here at home," she said.
Consumers will know more about if they are needed once Florence makes landfall.