Lexington-based disaster recovery team on the move as Idalia prepares to make landfall

A Lexington-based emergency disaster team is ready to help in the aftermath of Hurricane Idalia.
Published: Aug. 29, 2023 at 2:55 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - A Lexington-based emergency disaster team is ready to help in the aftermath of Hurricane Idalia.

Emergency Disaster Services says they’re sending nearly 100 people to Sarasota on Tuesday to the site they already have set up to assist major utility companies.

Once the storm passes, EDS said hundreds more from their team will head to Florida.

“They’ll travel as far as Maysville, and they’ll all respond by bringing equipment down that’ll be utilized for the purpose of this,” said Matt Daley, the director of communications and logistics for EDS.

Daley said they’re the largest asset provider in the nation, and they happen to be based in Lexington.

“For over 30 years, EDS has responded to all sorts of devastation,” said Daley.

Once Hurricane Idalia moves out of Florida, Daley said they’ll establish a semi-permanent base camp. Daley said it’s like an entire city where utility crews and public safety personnel can sleep, eat, shower and work out of.

“We expect there’s going to be anywhere between two to three million people without power. Utility companies will utilize our base camp services to go and re-establish those transmission lines where those are down and also do debris removal,” said Daley.

Daley said they’ll build and move camps to different areas as crews assess the damage. Although it’s difficult work, Daley said it’s rewarding.

“Sadly, as the warming climate continues to affect the gulf, especially, our services are just in high demand. There’s not a lot of downtime, and we’re not spending as much time with our families as we used to, but that’s just part of this deal, and we’re happy to do what we do.”

Daley said they’ll also provide services to anyone who gets displaced by the storm. They plan on being there as long as their help is needed.