Line techs with Conway Corp. electric utility in Conway, Ark., arrive at Rosen Centre Hotel on Wednesday. From left, Ivan Robinson, Kolt Weatherly, Travis Lauer, Paul Jack Langley and Blake Henderson.
Out-of-state powerline crews began arriving in Orlando on Wednesday afternoon in preparation to assist OUC – The Reliable One with power restoration in the wake of Hurricane Ian.
Crews from Missouri, Arkansas and Illinois arrived at Rosen Centre Hotel on International Drive in an assortment of utility trucks. Sixty-three line techs were expected to make it to the hotel, which acts as the staging area for mutual aid crews, before local weather conditions deteriorated Wednesday. Dozens of other line techs also are coming to help OUC but won’t make it to Orlando until Friday, when the worst of Ian is forecast to have passed. OUC will begin recovery efforts as soon as it’s safe to deploy power restoration crews.
Upon their arrival at Rosen Centre, the out-of-state line techs check in with OUC’s onboarding team, get their room assignments and attend a safety briefing. Their accommodations include meals and laundry service.
Andy Quinlin, a line tech with Hannibal (Missouri) Board of Public Works, was among some of the arriving line techs who had answered OUC’s call for help when Hurricane Irma impacted Orlando in September 2017.
“I just feel like we are in the same category as first responders,” said Quinlin, who has worked on a handful of hurricane recovery deployments. “It’s a good feeling knowing we can help people by getting their lights back on.”