September 11, 2017 11:38 am
Updated: September 11, 2017 4:32 pm

Hydro One sending crews to Florida in aftermath of Hurricane Irma

An NBC News helicopter took a tour over the Florida Keys Monday morning, offering our first clear look at the devastation wrought by Hurricane Irma on the southernmost point of the Sunshine State.

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Hydro One is sending crews to Florida in an effort to support the millions of people left without power in the wake of hurricane Irma.

The operator of Ontario’s largest electricity distribution system says it’s getting ready to send 175 employees south.

READ MORE: Nearly 100 Canadians barred from flight leaving Irma-ravaged Turks and Caicos Islands

Nearly 4.5 million homes and businesses lost power in the storm that made landfall in the U.S. on Sunday, and utility officials say it will take weeks to restore electricity to everyone.

Hydro One says crews are expected to start crossing the border into the U.S. at about 6 p.m. Monday, and should reach the affected areas by Wednesday afternoon.

LIVE UPDATES: Tracking Hurricane Irma’s path

It says it has “reciprocal agreements” in place across North America to provide assistance during significant power outages.

© 2017 The Canadian Press

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