Kansas crews head southeast to assist with Hurricane Irma

TOPEKA, Kan. (KWCH) Update: Eight more Westar Energy crews from Kansas are Florida bound. The energy company says the crews are expected to arrive in Florida on Tuesday night.

Westar Energy

The new crews will join eight other Westar crews that arrived in Orlando early Saturday. They report to a Miami suburb today.

Westar Energy crews join more than 18,000 workers to help restore power to more than 5.5 million people in Florida remain without electricity.

But Florida isn't the only state needing help. Georgia made a request for additional resources from the Kansas task force who can help with high water search and rescue.

Many of those first responders helped with rescue efforts during Hurricane Harvey.

Captain Matthew Lucht is the only Kansas Air National Guard member down in Florida right now.

He's there helping coordinate information for first responders on the ground.

"Here where I'm at, we did have some rain yesterday, and it's been cloudy today with quite a bit of wind," said Lucht.

He will help push out information to those in the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Irma.

"It doesn't matter whether you're in Kansas or in Florida," said Lucht. "People obviously depend on the national guard to respond, and they're comforted by the fact that the national guard is there. that's what we do."
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Westar Energy crews are responding to a call for help as Hurricane Irma moves toward Florida.

Florida Power & Light has reached out to Westar and other area utilities in anticipation of the storm.

Gathered from all over our service territory, roughly 40 Westar Energy employees, including line crews and support personnel, will leave Thursday morning from various locations.

Westar Energy is a member of the Midwest Mutual Assistance Group, which enables them to call upon neighboring utilities and their contractors to help restore service after a significant event such as a severe storm.