JOPLIN, Mo. – Early the morning of Sept. 10, Empire District crews rolled out to help in the effort to restore power to those affected by Hurricane Irma.

The assembled team has a total of 39 personnel, including 32 linemen in addition to safety, mechanical, telecommunications and other support personnel. The team draws upon crews from Aurora, Baxter, Bolivar, Hollister, Joplin, Neosho, and Ozark. They will join other crews from the Liberty Utilities organization (New Hampshire) to assist Tampa Electric Company (TECO). The team will travel to Tennessee and await directions to their staging area in Florida.

Empire and Liberty Utilities are part of a mutual assistance network made up of utilities across the nation. The network provides a way to share information, secure resources and obtain personnel during extreme weather events and natural disasters.

According to Blake Mertens, Vice President Electric Operations: “Our region has received vital support through the mutual assistance network after events like the 2011 Joplin tornado and the 2007 ice storms. We are proud to be able to return the favor when our fellow utilities are in need of assistance.”

Based in Joplin, Missouri, The Empire District Electric Company is a subsidiary of Liberty Utilities Co. and headquarters for the Liberty Utilities Central Region, providing electric, natural gas, water, and wastewater service to nearly 320,000 customers across six states. A subsidiary of the company provides fiber optic services. For more information regarding Empire, visit For more information about Liberty Utilities, visit