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ONCOR team on standby to help restore power in Florida

About 500 ONCOR employees and contractors are stationed in Florida's panhandle. Waiting for Hurricane Ian to pass so they can help restore power.

FLORIDA, USA — As Hurricane Ian continues to make its way further into Florida many emergency electricians are on standby to help with the aftermath. 

That includes crews from East Texas. East region manager for ONCOR Tom Trimble said they sent a team of 500 employees and contractors who are currently on standby in a safe location in Florida's panhandle. They are ready to help restore power once the hurricane passes. 

ONCOR is part of a mutual assistance program with Tampa Electric Utilities and Florida Power & Light

They’ve been called on to help, but not until the hurricane passes. Until then Floridians and helpers must be patient and stay safe.

"The biggest thing you can do is if you see a line down, stay away from it," Trimble said.

A video taken in Naples, Florida showed a power line falling and catching fire Wednesday afternoon. 

CBS19 also received images from former CBS19 anchor Lisa Spooner who now lives in Fort Myers, Florida. She spoke with CBS19’s David Lippman about what she experienced in the heart of the storm. 

"Even with storm shutters, we had a window blow in," Spooner said. "That tells you how powerful the storm is, and again that's just the hurricane itself."

Spooner mentioned how county around Fort Myers called for a mandatory evacuation two days ago. Meanwhile another county didn't call for it until Tuesday morning. 

"There were a lot of moving parts that has caused this to be a very scary situation," Spooner said.

Spooner also mentioned how Hurricane Ian was initially predicted to make landfall directly in Tampa. She said that gave the Fort Myers area a false sense of security, but as we can see it decided to make landfall farther south.  

Trimble has a message to share with everyone in Florida that his crews are about to help. 

"We hope that everyone stays safe and comes out of this with with as little damage as possible," Trimble said. "We'll be there to help them out. Help them get power back to their citizens."

CBS19 would like to thank Lisa Spooner for the images and hurricane updates. 

As of Wednesday night Spooner said she and her family are safe. Her house wasn't devastated by the hurricane but it does have some damages. 

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