Denton Municipal Electric employees assess storm damage. 

A crew of 20 Denton Municipal Electric linemen is scheduled to leave Monday for Florida to help restore power, if needed, following Hurricane Dorian.

Brent Heath, executive manager for energy delivery, said DME got a call from the Florida Municipal Electric Association requesting the mutual aid. The city of Tallahassee asked for DME specifically, since lineman helped the city recover after Hurricane Michael last year.

“We’ve been requested to return to a location we’ve been before,” Heath said, adding that the crew would help somewhere else if the storm tracked differently.

“The forecast has been so bizarre with this storm,” Heath said.

Hurricane Dorian was considered a Category 2 storm when the call went out, and some models predicted it would reach Category 4 by the time it reached Florida.

Many municipal power agencies cooperate to speed recovery after a storm. Heath said the DME crews will leave with all the equipment they need to operate. They will be organized under two supervisors with two construction crews and two service trucks.

The city will be reimbursed for its costs in providing help.

DME officials anticipate the linemen and trucks will depart early Monday morning and begin staging in Florida by Tuesday.

Denton won’t send more linemen to help than the original group. But if the work takes longer than two weeks to complete, the city will bring the team home and send another crew.

“They work 16-hour days — hard, long days,” Heath said, adding that the work conditions are also challenging, with limited services, flooding, alligators, mosquitoes and other bugs.

PEGGY HEINKEL-WOLFE can be reached at 940-566-6881 and via Twitter at @phwolfeDRC.

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