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Xcel Energy volunteers from Wisconsin heading to Florida to help restore power

Eau Claire, WIS. (CBS 58) -- Hundreds of Xcel Energy volunteers from more than a half dozen states, including Wisconsin, are heading to Florida to help restore power.

40 volunteers from the Eau Claire area left on Sunday. When they arrive, they'll work with Tampa Electric to restore their system.

Crews will put poles and wires back up in an effort to get the million people in South Florida out of the dark.

"We've got a great work ethic and we've got a great safety culture that we are able to go down there and provide a bunch of support and help their system get back together so, for Xcel Energy this means a lot," said B.J. Rauckman with Xcel.

Volunteers plan on staying for up to 2 weeks but say they'll stay longer if needed.

Nearly 6.5 million people are without power and utility officials say it could be weeks before electricity is completely restored. 

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