A five-member City of Pratt electrical crew is now on stand-by in Orlando in case of services needed after the expected hurricane.
Five linemen from the City of Pratt Electric Department left Pratt on Saturday, heading to Orlando, Florida so as to be in a position to help restore electricity after Hurricane Dorian hits the area sometime in the next few days. They arrived at their destination late Sunday, September 1.
“We’re here in Orlando waiting on [you] Dorian,” said Jamie Huber, Director of Electric Utilities for Pratt. “The City of Pratt and KC BPU had been requested that we come join them for Storm Restoration, after being there two years ago for Irma. Now we wait.”
Pratt’s interim city manager Bruce Pinkall said the Pratt crew was specifically requested by the Orlando Utility Commission (OCU) because of their good work and involvement in a previous mutual aid event. They were part of a large contingent of electrical crews from across that country that responded to the disaster left in the wake of Hurricane Irma that hit Florida in September 2017.
“I am very proud of the commitment these employees are making and I know Pratt will be a better community because our employees care and are committed to not just helping others but understanding and knowing that they can make a difference,” Pinkall said. “We wish them a safe and productive trip. They make us ‘Pratt Proud!’”
Pinkall said he did not know how long the Pratt crew would be committed to helping in Florida but their time and efforts would be supported 100 percent by the city. Lane Gourley was tabbed to take responsibility of leadership for the Pratt Electric Department. He will manage day-to-day operations in the absence of Huber.
The Weather Authority predicted that Hurricane Dorian could hit the east coast of Florida sometime early Tuesday morning. It wis a slow-moving storm with high wind gusts and the potential to cause extensive flooding.
With maximum sustained winds of 155 mph, Hurricane Dorian is a catastrophic Category 5 storm. At 8 a.m. Monday, the storm was located about 110 miles east of West Palm Beach Florida and moving west at just 1 mph - adrift in a stalled flow with no steering currents, according to reports from The Florida Times-Union, a GateHouse Media sister paper to the Pratt Tribune.