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Employees of Southwestern Electric Power Co., an AEP company, are heading to Pensacola Beach, Florida, in preparation for Hurricane Sally.

Convoys of SWEPCO trucks left Tuesday morning from SWEPCO service centers in Texarkana; Shreveport and Natchitoches, Louisiana; and Longview, Texas.

Gulf Power has asked for help from SWEPCO crews after the hurricane makes landfall, according to SWEPCO officials. About 63 employees will go to Florida, SWEPCO said.

"In the utility industry, providing mutual aid is not a matter of 'if' but a matter of 'when,'" said Drew Seidel, SWEPCO vice president of Distribution Region Operations. "After Hurricane Laura, 3,500 workers from 15 states and Canada helped SWEPCO employees get the lights on for our customers. Now, it's our turn to help out another energy company's customers."

SWEPCO serves more than 543,000 customers in northwest and central Louisiana, Northeast Texas and the Texas Panhandle, and western Arkansas.

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