MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - Minnesotans are headed to Florida to help out in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, which swamped streets and downed trees as it made landfall as a Category 4 storm in southwestern Florida on Wednesday.
Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy and the American Red Cross Minnesota and Dakotas region are among those sending people to Florida to help out.
Xcel Energy on Wednesday said 270 contract workers are on their way to Florida, including line workers from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, North Dakota, South Dakota, Colorado, New Mexico and Texas.
Additional Xcel workers could be sent to the Sunshine State, the company said. As of Wednesday afternoon, more than 1 million people were without power in Florida.
"When the call for help comes in, Xcel Energy and the entire electric industry answers that call," says Bob Frenzel, chairman, president and CEO of Xcel Energy. "When our customers experience adverse conditions, we know that they would do the same for us. It’s imperative that the electric companies work together to ensure the resiliency of our essential product as storm volatility increases."
Additionally, 38 line workers from 14 Minnesota municipal utility companies are heading down to Florida to help. They left Wednesday morning and should get there by Friday.
SARASOTA, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 28: A down tree lays over the road after being toppled by the winds and rain from Hurricane Ian on September 28, 2022 in Sarasota, Florida. Ian is hitting the area as a likely Category 4 hurricane. (Photo by Joe Raedle/G
Red Cross volunteers en route to Florida
Dozens of American Red Cross volunteers from Minnesota are ready to help out in Florida in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian.
Four of the Red Cross' emergency vehicles are currently on the road to Florida, with more than 50 volunteers from Minnesota and the Dakotas on standby or have already been deployed to be on the ground ready to help those affected.
In a post on Facebook on Tuesday, the American Red Cross in Minnesota say they are "hurrying to be in place before the storm hits," with three emergency response vehicles from Fargo, Duluth and Minneapolis already activated.
Here's information from the Red Cross on how to help those impacted by Hurricane Ian.