Delaware crews head to Florida to help with Irma cleanup

Two separate teams from Delaware are heading to Florida to help the state recover from Hurricane Irma.

On Monday, a crew of 25 DelDOT maintenance and operations employees started their trip to Florida in a convoy that included loaders, chainsaws and skid steers. The workers who volunteered for the work will spend up to 15 days in Florida, removing debris and cleaning up from the destruction left that Irma left behind.

“Delaware was proud to be among the states offering assistance to those affected by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma,” Delaware Gov. John Carney said. “I’m grateful to the state employees and members of the National Guard who are serving our neighbors in Texas, South Carolina, and Florida as they begin the recovery process.”

In addition to crews that will clear debris, a team of DelDOT bridge inspectors is on stand-by, ready to head to Florida if needed to evaluate the integrity of bridges that may have been damaged by Irma’s strong winds and storm surge.

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A group of more than 10 members of the Air Force Reserve’s 512th Airlift Wing left Dover Air Force Base for Florida Tuesday afternoon. The airmen who specialize in logistics and civil engineering will work out of Homestead Air Reserve Base to help coordinate delivery of equipment and supplies for the relief effort.

“I’m extremely proud of our citizen airmen and their ability to step up to the plate and respond so quickly to our nation in need,” said Col. Craig Peters, 512th Airlift Wing commander. “It’s this type of strategic relevancy that makes the Liberty Wing and the Air Force Reserve so valuable.”

More Dover reservists are ready to join the effort in Florida if needed.

The airmen and the DelDOT team will join workers from Delmarva Power who left for Florida on Sunday. More than 121 Delmarva Power employees and contractors are in Florida to restore power to residents and businesses.

Those employees are part of a larger team of electric workers from other companies owned by Delmarva’s parent Exelon. All totaled, Exelon has sent more than 1,800 workers to help turn the lights- maybe more importantly in hot and humid Florida- the air conditioning back up and running.

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