KISSIMMEE, Fla., September 22, 12:00 noon – After nearly two weeks of working in the most adverse conditions, weary repair crews from Kissimmee Utility Authority (KUA) return home today from their hurricane relief mission along the Gulf Coast.
The crews departed Central Florida on Sept. 10 bound for Kiln, Miss where they assisted Coast Electric Power Association with power restoration in areas devastated by Hurricane Katrina.
Kiln is located approximately 13 miles northwest of Bay St. Louis, Miss. and 60 miles northeast of New Orleans, La.
The working conditions were extreme. The crews slept each night on cots set up inside a makeshift tent. They worked 15-hour days, starting at 5 a.m., and battled endless heat and humidity.
Most of the homes and businesses in the region were so badly damaged by flooding that they are not able to safely receive electric service. KUA crews restored power to approximately 1,000 customers but spent the majority of their time rebuilding an electric system that will someday serve a full customer load again.
The linemen from KUA included George Blair, Alan Burkhardt, Paul Fielitz, Eddie Gluc, Gary Guinan, Dustin Kelley, Logan Murphy and Luis Santiago.
The crews are expected to arrive today between 5-6 p.m. at the utility’s service center, located at 2850 N. John Young Parkway in Kissimmee.
Founded in 1901, KUA (www.kua.com) is Florida’s sixth largest community-owned utility providing electric and telecommunication services to 170,000 residents in five Central Florida counties.
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Chris M. Gent
(407) 933-7777 x 1116