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Hurricane Dorian: Local Utility Workers Head To Florida To Help Energy Crews

CLIFTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- As Florida braces for Hurricane Dorian's arrival, some local utility workers and first responders are getting ready to help.

PSE&G crews are heading south Saturday, and they're taking plenty of heavy equipment with them.

More than 100 electric and line workers left from Clifton, New Jersey, early Saturday morning, CBS2's Marc Liverman reports.

On Friday night, New York City emergency responders were deployed to Florida to help with preparations as Dorian became a Category 4 storm.

Both members of the NYPD and the FDNY who have specialized training in disaster relief recovery were headed down south.

The team made up of nearly 50 people left from New York City's emergency management facility in Brooklyn. They're expected to arrive in Jacksonville later in the day Saturday.

The team has tools like swift water rescue boats and K-9s, as well as hazardous materials response equipment.

"They're trained in all aspects of rescue -- water rescue, confined-space rescue, high-rise rescue. It's our most highly trained people that we have in the NYPD ... They've been deployed in the past in numerous emergencies around the country, also, and they make us proud every time they go," said Harry Wedin, NYPD chief of special operations.

The energy crews from New Jersey, meanwhile, are expected to support Duke Energy in the hardest hit areas.

"As you know, no one knows the ultimate track of the hurricane, so there's many southern utilities that are holding because they don't want to send crews to Florida without the possibility of having crews available for potential damage that the storm could create once it goes and finishes its track," said Joseph De Pinto, PSE&G engineering and resource manager.

They'll be helping for close to two weeks, and they're expected to work 16-hour days to help restore power and repair electric lines.

For more on Hurricane Dorian, click here.

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