Wallingford resident, former RJ reporter, joins Eversource crews helping in Florida

Wallingford resident, former RJ reporter, joins Eversource crews helping in Florida


With millions of homes and businesses without power in Florida following Hurricane Irma, Eversource Energy crews from Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire headed south Saturday to help with recovery efforts.

Farrah Duffany, a Wallingford resident, former Record-Journal reporter and social media specialist with Eversource CT, joined a contingent of 14 Eversource line trucks driving from Connecticut to Florida. They left Saturday, stayed in Maryland until the storm passed through Florida, and expected to arrive in Lake City, Florida, Monday evening to begin power recovery efforts.

Duffany said Eversource would be working with Florida Power & Light.

“They’re going to put us wherever they need us,” she said.

Eversource line crews left the Northeast on a day’s notice. Many of the workers have families that they left behind . They could be in Florida for up to two weeks.

“They’re leaving that all behind for two weeks on short notice to come down and help other people,” she said. “It’s pretty awesome.”

Line workers with Eversource are “proud of what they do and they want to be able to help in Florida,” Duffany said. Often, line crews from the South travel to New England following storms, she said, so Eversource crews want to return the favor.

During her ride south, Duffany said, many of the line workers were talking about how so many utility workers came north to help after Superstorm Sandy.

Regarding the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, she said, “we’re not sure what we’re going to see.”

The storm wreaked havoc from the state’s southernmost point to areas near the Georgia line, with homes and cars swamped, trees flattened, boats cast onto roads in the Florida Keys and streets underwater in many places. Irma also snapped miles of power lines and toppled three massive construction cranes in Miami and Fort Lauderdale.

More than 400 miles from where Irma first came ashore, storm surge brought heavy flooding to Jacksonville on the Atlantic coast on Monday. The flooding broke a 1964 record by at least a foot.

No deaths in Florida were immediately linked to the storm. At least 24 people were killed in the Caribbean. The monster storm arrived in Florida on Sunday morning as a fearsome Category 4 hurricane but weakened in the evening and overnight.

Despite the uncertainty of what they face, Duffany said, crews from Connecticut are confident they can help.

“A lot of guys have been to things like this before,” she said. “Some have been working for us for 30-plus years.”

Duffany will be documenting the efforts of the Eversource crews and posting updates on the company’s social media accounts.

aragali@record-journal.com 203-317-2224 Twitter: @Andyragz

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