Springfield City Utilities crews headed to Florida to help with Hurricane Ian recovery
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) -Two electric line crews and support staff from Springfield City Utilities left Tuesday morning to help with hurricane recovery efforts in Florida. The crews will stage with other line workers to see where most of the help will be needed after Ian makes landfall.
CU tries to respond when there is a need for mutual-aid assistance.
Hurricane Ian tore into western Cuba on Tuesday as a major hurricane, with nothing to stop it from intensifying into a catastrophic Category 4 hurricane before it hits Florida on Wednesday.
Ian made landfall at 3:30 a.m. CDT Tuesday in Cuba’s Pinar del Rio province, where officials set up 55 shelters, evacuated 50,000 people, rushed in emergency personnel and took steps to protect crops in Cuba’s main tobacco-growing region.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center said “significant wind and storm surge impacts” were occurring Tuesday morning in western Cuba. Ian sustained top winds of 125 mph (205 kmh) as it moved over the city of Pinar del Rio. As much as 14 feet (4.3 meters) of storm surge was predicted along Cuba’s coast.
After passing over Cuba, Ian was forecast to strengthen even more over warm Gulf of Mexico waters, reaching top winds of 140 mph (225 kmh) before making landfall again. Tropical storm-force winds were expected in Florida late Tuesday, reaching hurricane force Wednesday morning.
The hurricane center said there’s a 100 percent chance of damaging winds and water along Florida’s west coast, issuing a hurricane warning from Bonita Beach north through Tampa Bay to the Anclote River.
Tampa and St. Petersburg could get their first direct hit by a major hurricane since 1921.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
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