Nebraska Public Power District announced Thursday that it is dispatching crews to help Florida recover from what could be that state’s worst hurricane in nearly 30 years.

Lincoln Electric System and Grand Island Utilities had planned to send crews on Friday, but said late Thursday that they were holding off, at the request of the agency coordinating mutual aid. The Omaha Public Power District also is on standby.

The American Public Power Association is coordinating help as part of a mutual aid network. Utilities are assigned to specific areas and the likelihood of damage in that area determines whether their aid is requested.

NPPD has been assigned to help with recovery in Orlando.

Until they were told to stand down, Lincoln Electric and Grand Island had been told to report to Tallahassee.

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NPPD is sending 18 people and 18 vehicles for an anticipated two-week trip. Line technicians and supervisory staff will be taking a digger truck, bucket trucks, pickups, trailers and all-terrain utility vehicles.

The NPPD crews will assist the Orlando Utilities Commission, a public power entity.

Travel to Florida is expected to take about three days.

Hurricane Dorian has the potential to reach a dangerous Category 4 level in eastern Florida if it remains on track and with the strength projected.

Life-threatening storm surges and powerful winds are possible in Florida late this weekend into early next week, according to the National Hurricane Center.

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Nancy Gaarder helps cover public safety and weather events as an editor on The World-Herald's breaking news desk. Follow her on Twitter @gaarder. Phone: 402-444-1102.

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