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Columbia utilities, Ameren, MO-Task Force 1 sending crews to help Irma clean-up

Hundreds head to Orlando for assignment

COLUMBIA, Mo. - The city of Columbia, Ameren and members of Missouri Task Force One are en route or on scene to help with the damage left from Hurricane Irma.

A ten-person crew from Columbia's electric utility left on Friday for Orlando, which is serving as the staging area for out-of-state organizations offering to help. Columbia Community Relations Director Steven Sapp said the team has three different kinds of trucks, some of which are meant to assist the rebuilding of transmission lines. 

Mike Lewis, Superintendent of Reliability Support Services of Ameren Missouri, says 129 workers left this morning for Florida, including 104 linemen and 25 more for support. They will also be helping in the effort to restore power to the millions of homes and business in Florida.

Missouri Task Force One has members stationed in Florida, Georgia, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. They're focus is on human rescue rather than power restoration. Human Remain Collection (HRC) crews, complete with canines and Force One members, aim to help locate people that are stuck following the hurricane.

On Monday night, one member told ABC 17 News they have had urban search and rescue missions over the last five days in the hardest-hit areas of Saint John and Saint Thomas.

More than 6.5 million homes and businesses are currently without power in Florida. One person in Florida and at least 34 in the Caribbean have died because of the hurricane.


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