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Hoosiers prepare to head south as Dorian approaches Florida

EDINBURGH, Ind. –  As Hurricane Dorian makes its way to the east coast, Duke Energy employees in Indiana prepare to respond.

On Friday, the company deployed teams from eight different locations across the state.

Among those teams are linemen, engineers, administrators and employees in charge of clearing vegetation.

In total, 700 people from across the Midwest are prepared to help, but they don’t yet know where.

The teams will rally at the staging point in Macon, Georgia. They will stay there until they know which areas need help the most.

“That’s why we’re sending everybody down there in advance,” said Chip Orben, government and community relations manager. “We can attack the situation once we know where the elements are, and where we need to be.”

Duke says they will likely be stationed in Florida or the Carolinas. Crew members said they were told to prepare for seven to 10 days with the understanding it could be as much as two weeks. They’re ready to answer the call.

“We’re all in it,” says Orben. “We all want to get things back on, and we want to get people back to some kind of a normal life.”

Duke Energy is one of several organizations sending Hoosiers to help.

Midwest Food Bank has four semi trucks loaded with relief boxes, and hopes to have five more to fill.

“In these disaster relief boxes there is usually bagged pasta, spaghetti, there’s cereal, there’s canned soup. We have canned pasta, tuna, peanut butter and jelly,” said John Whitaker, the group’s executive director.

The Indiana Red Cross is training and sending volunteers.

says they encourage anyone that wants to volunteer to join them.

“Hoosiers are extraordinarily generous,” said Chad Priest, CEO of Indiana Red Cross. “So folks want to do something and that is one of the greatest strengths of our state. Right now what is needed most is people’s time, talent and treasure.”

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