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News Link • Natural Disasters

Drone Army Is Ready to Swoop in for Florence Power Recovery

• https://www.bloombergquint.com, Naureen S. Malik

At least 53 drone teams have been recruited to help with damage assessment, said Brian Reil, a spokesman for Edison Electric Institute, the Washington-based industry group coordinating utility recovery efforts. Each team usually brings more than one drone and the force collectively includes about 100 to 160 operators, he said.

The numbers may seem small compared with the roughly 40,000 utility workers mobilized to provide assistance, but drones can provide faster access to find problems in flooded or otherwise dangerous areas. Local providers including Duke Energy Corp. and Southern Co. are deploying aerial equipment fitted with infrared and high-zoom sensors that can inspect substations, locate malfunctioning solar panels and even help to restring power lines.

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