Valley workers preparing to offer assistance to those impacted by hurricane Matthew

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People living along the Florida coastal areas are preparing for the arrival of hurricane Matthew-- so are PG&E crews from Fresno. (KFSN)

People living along the Florida coastal areas are preparing for the arrival of hurricane Matthew-- so are PG&E crews from Fresno. They were busy packing bags full of communications gear, tools, and clothing. Once the storm hits they will be busy trying to restore power in hard-hit areas. Five four-man crews from Fresno are making the trip.

"Going on damage like this is one of our highlights of being a lineman. Being able to go in and help the customer out. Get their power turned back on and for some, it could be the start of the rebuilding process," said Joe Holbert, supervisor.

In all, PG&E is sending 100 workers to assist in the Florida effort. The Fresno crews drove to Sacramento where they will board a chartered plane.
Workers expect long hours and tough conditions.

"The construction could be a little different. Obviously, the conditions will be different. It will be a lot more hot and humid and then just being unfamiliar with the area," said Holbert.

The Central Valley chapter of the American Red Cross is sending two volunteers to Florida-- two more are coming from Kern County.

"In this case, we have a couple of shelter workers. Some that are dealing with health services and then we actually have one that is working on damage assessment," said Barry Falke, Red Cross.

Florida has already opened 60 shelters for families seeking safety.

"Last night we had about 3,600 folks that were in Red Cross or community shelters in that area," said Falke.

The Red Cross volunteers will be in the Florida area for at least two weeks.

PG&E crews expect to be assigned to a specific area but say that could change depending on which cities are hardest hit.
Related Topics:
newshurricane matthewfresnored crossPG&EFloridaFresno
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