Columbians, state workers travel to Florida to help with Irma recovery

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More than 60 Missouri state employees will travel to Florida this week to repair damage done by Hurricane Irma. They will join 10 electric line workers from Columbia who have been in Florida since Thursday.

In response to a request for assistance, the Missouri Department of Transportation is sending more than 50 people to Florida along with heavy equipment, including trucks, loaders and backhoes. They will help clear storm debris from roads, according to a news release.

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources is also sending 18 state park employees. The news release said that 168 of Florida's 174 state parks have been closed because of storm damage, and the state park workers will be helping to clean them.

On Monday, the Columbia utilities workers helped restore power to several thousand people in Orlando, according to a news release from the city.

The city employees are in Florida as part of their work with the Missouri Public Utility Alliance's mutual aid network. They are working alongside other utilities workers from Missouri and Arkansas.

Supervising editor is Scott Swafford.

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