SEBRING — Duke Energy line crews have left Central Florida on their way to the Panhandle.

Highlands County residents are among them.

Bruce Hardy, a supervisor in Duke Energy Florida’s Highlands Operations Center in Sebring, gave a briefing on safe driving early Friday morning to crews that left the Winter Garden operations facility, said Allison Barker, senior corporate communications consultant for Duke Energy.

She said some of the crews in the 10 trucks that left Winter Garden Friday came from Highlands County, although she did not have all the names immediately available.

As part of the safety protocol, she said, crews are not allowed to use phones in the cab while the truck is in motion.

Winter Garden’s 10 trucks make up a small part of the approximate 220 crews and contract partners, which include linemen and vegetation management workers, all heading to help in the recovery aftermath of Hurricane Sally.

She hopes to hear more from them once they have reached their destinations and started repairs to power lines.

News stations in the Panhandle were reporting, as of Friday night, that hundreds of thousands of people were still without power along the Alabama coast and the Florida Panhandle.

Power outages continued Friday as officials assessed millions of dollars in damage that included a broken bridge in Pensacola and ships thrown onto dry land, as well as two confirmed deaths in Alabama.