Fort Wayne-based I&M sending more crews for hurricane aid

Fort Wayne-based Indiana Michigan Power is sending about 75 more employees and contractors to storm-ravaged Florida and Georgia, after Hurricane Irma took down power lines, leaving millions of residents without electricity.

It brings to more than 350 the number of employees and contractors who I&M is sending to the restoration effort. Most of those going on the new deployment are foresters who are headed to Georgia to help clear trees, branches and other vegetation from electric equipment and rights of way, according to an I&M news release. Most were previously deployed as foresters and line workers to restore power in Florida.

Line and forestry crews from throughout I&M’s service territory will work 16-hour days for an undetermined amount of time. A deployment of up to two weeks is typical, though some crews could remain longer, and some returning crews could be exchanged with additional employees and contractors, according to the news release.

More than 30 I&M employees recently returned from Texas after helping restore power damaged by Hurricane Harvey.