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“Band together to help:” We Energies crews headed to Georgia to restore power after Irma

MILWAUKEE -- More than 30 We Energies worker on Wednesday, September 13th were on their way to Georgia to assist with power restoration efforts following Hurricane Irma. This is in addition to the 100 contract employees We Energies previously released for restoration efforts.

We Energies crews depart Wednesday to assist in hurricane response

It's a call to service close to the heart of We Energies' and WPS' president, Kevin Fletcher, a Georgia native.

"Thank you again. Be very careful. From the bottom of my heart, and all of my family and friends," said Fletcher.

The 34-person contingent of line mechanics and support staff is from all over Wisconsin. They left the Racine Service Center Wednesday morning -- expecting to be gone for up to three weeks.

We Energies crews depart Wednesday to assist in hurricane response

"They'll do whatever it takes to help the folks down south get their lights back on," said Cathy Schulze, We Energies' spokeswoman.

Many have been in disaster zones before -- responding to Super Storm Sandy on the East Coast.

"Organized chaos, shall we say," said Gary Staral, senior operations supervisor.

We Energies crews depart Wednesday to assist in hurricane response

We Energies crews depart Wednesday to assist in hurricane response

They know what to expect -- and still want to help, even if it means missing their families.

"All utilities band together to help each other in times of crisis," said Staral.

Gary Staral

Kevin Rudnik took his four-year-old daughter's stuffed animals with him.

"She was very, very sad. She started packing up all kinds of toys and she wanted me to give them to kids out there," said Rudnick.

But pride in their work and the desperate need for their skills, sent this group on a mission to help.

"It is a great sense of accomplishment," said Staral.