Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - Rochester Public Utilities has responded to a request for help from utilities in the expected path of Hurricane Irma. RPU spokesman Tony Benson says a crew of lineworkers is scheduled to leave Rochester Saturday morning to assist in the response to the massive storm that’s bearing down on Florida.

The RPU crew, which will caravan to Florida with 15 other municipal utility line crews from other Minnesota communities and crews from Wisconsin, will be traveling in a bucket truck with a 55-foot boom and a digger derrick used for setting utility poles.

Benson says the RPU crew could be in Florida, or other areas hit by Irma, for up to three weeks depending on the severity of the damage to the power grid.

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