MidAmerican Energy sends more to Florida

URBANDALE - MidAmerican Energy is preparing to send another fleet of line workers down south to assist in restoring the power. 

"We kind of put this together over the course of the last few hours so to speak. We got the call early this morning," said John Guy, general manager of electric operations, MidAmerican Energy.
A hyper-speed turnaround for MidAmerican Energy to get dozens more boots on the ground.
"Tree resources and vegetation and management staff, also we've got a number of management staff that are down there to spearhead the efforts and then a number of line-men," said Guy.
In the several hours John has organized 34 more workers to go assist in Georgia. They deploy Wednesday morning.
"All in there will be a total of about 290 resources going down," said Guy.
An effort the company says they were glad to assist with. Even in the darkest of times, Iowans are ready to help get the power back on. 
"Now if you are a customer two days is probably too long," said Jim Dougherty, vice president of electric delivery,  MidAmerican Energy.
"So, I think that's why the Florida utilities and now the Georgia utilities and the Carolina utilities are trying to get as much help in there as they can and turn this around in an unprecedented amount of time."
On MidAmerican Energy's website there is a map of customers who have power at any given moment. Imagine if the map were littered with red boxes indicating clients didn't have power.
"I think at one point between the Carolinas, Georgia and Florida there was actually 12 million people without power at one point in time," said Dougherty.
In addition to the lack of power, John and Jim say resources during a disaster can be scarce. They ran into that reality when crews arrived.
"We were having a very difficult time finding gas, and I think we did use, the GasBuddy App," said Dougherty.
Local 5 video chatted with a GasBuddy representative from Des Moines who is currently helping with efforts in Tallahassee. He explains how the App works.  
"In times of crisis we have typically activate a tracker that allows individuals to report if there is gas or is not gas at a station," said Frank Beard, GasBuddy.
This App proved ever so helpful in getting the trucks the fuel that they needed.
"Those resources are available for the relief efforts that are still doing work right now," said Beard.
Frank says many Florida gas stations can't meet the fuel demand, and gas shortages have become the reality. GasBuddy has become a tool resources like MidAmerican can continue to use when out on the job and needing a reliable station to fill up. 
MidAmerican Energy says the southern utilities hope to have power completely restored in two weeks. They say that is a big feat, and an ambitious goal after a storm this size. 


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