Florida power crews head out to help with Zeta storm damage

Storm crews with the Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC) and Duke Energy are headed to Alabama to help restore power following Hurricane Zeta. The system has since weakened to a tropical storm.

Five members of the OUC team left Orlando on Wednesday to help, with 6 other employees remaining on standby to possibly leave on Thursday.

The deployment marks an unprecedented fourth mutual aid trip in just two months.

"In each previous deployment, OUC sent 12 employees eager to help others in need. The most recent came Oct. 9 when Hurricane Delta hit an already battered southwest Louisiana. Two days later, OUC line crews began restoring power to the residents of Lafayette, La. They returned home Oct. 17," OUC said in a press release.  

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Duke Energy crews are going to the Carolinas where remnants of Hurricane Zeta are expected to travel.

"Duke Energy has readied its crews for a multi-day restoration effort and has more than 2,600 workers prepared to respond to power outages."

Additionally, more than 300 workers are prepared and ready to travel from the company’s Midwest service territory if needed.

A fast-moving Zeta weakened to a tropical storm as it barreled northeast Thursday morning after ripping through Louisiana and Mississippi. 

Zeta weakened over central Alabama but its strong winds continued across portions of the state and the Florida Panhandle.