Press Release from MMUA
MMUA Coordinates Mutual Aid Effort in Response to Hurricane Ian!
This morning, September 28, a crew of 40 municipal utility workers and MMUA staff members deployed from Rochester Public Utilities to assist in restoration efforts based in Kissimmee, FL. The category four Hurricane Ian made landfall on the Gulf Coast of Florida on Wednesday morning, and, as of press time, more than 800,000 customers have lost power. The MMUA-led team is comprised of line workers, mechanics, and coordinators from 14 municipal utilities from across Minnesota. They will arrive in Kissimmee on Friday.
MMUA notified member utilities late last Friday about potential need for assistance. On Monday morning, we received a request from the Kissimmee Utility Authority for our crews to standby. As is often the case, things developed rapidly and around 11 am on Tuesday KUA requested that we deploy to arrive on Friday. This event marks the first hurricane-related mutual aid action led by MMUA since Hurricane Irma in 2017 (crews were assembled and deployed in 2019 for Hurricane Dorian, though they were ultimately recalled before arriving in Florida). Fourteen members were able to pull together crews on very short notice.
MMUA would like to thank the utilities and communities of Alexandria, Austin, Brainerd, Buffalo, Elk River, Marshall, MRES, Moorhead, New Ulm, Owatonna, Rochester, Shakopee, and Willmar for answering the call to assist in Florida. We also thank Granite Electronics for generously donating radios for use during deployment. Finally, we thank Rochester Public Utilities for hosting the deployment staging area and supplying extra traffic cones.