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Linemen thanked by Seminole Community

Linemen thanked by Seminole Community

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The Seminole community came out in numbers to thank 400 Linemen who came to Florida to help restore Seminole_serving_linemenpower by serving a huge quantity of food, beverages and deserts at Seminole High School Friday night.  A cornucopia of food abounded with everything imaginable in a festive atmosphere.

Duke Energy brought hundreds of linemen from their home base in Raleigh and requested help from hundreds of linemen from other utilities and states to help restore power to Florida. 

LinemenJames Parrish with Duke in Raleigh said “In 29 years as a lineman, I’ve never seen a town respond and come together like the people did here today"

James_ParrishDemon Strate another linemen agreed.  Not even during Francis has he seen this kind of community response.

 

Jacqueline Brochman with Duke and also a Seminole Band Booster saidJacqueline_Brochman_and_Dr._Brittain that it started as a result of Seminole High School becoming a staging location for the trucks, and then the high school got the idea to help feed them, and suddenly it went viral on Facebook.  Over 70 people and businesses showed up grilling barbeque, chicken, ribs, and all the fixings, along with salads, cakes and cookies and munchies that would feed an army.

You can’t appreciate what it means to be a lineman during hurricane restoration.  They got notice on Saturday that they would be needed, so gear and equipment was assembled to deal with any situation.  The Badger Daylighting crew from Raleigh said those coming down 75 had to wait for the storm to clear and couldn’t leave until early Tuesday.  Trips that normally took five hours took 14; a trip from Raleigh took two days instead of one.  They had 30 hydrovac trucks and 62 employees from all over the country here to help.Badger_Daylighting_Raleigh

Travel was at a snail’s pace due to all the residents returning and the time to stop for fuel.  Some slept in their trucks for two nights getting only an hour or two of sleep, then working 16 hour shifts.  Several lineman said it was four days until they could get into a hotel and take a shower.

Despite what they are going through, all were appreciative of the Seminole community for recognizing their efforts.  They were all modest in they were just doing their jobs and that they were used to the extreme conditions of the heat and the rain they endure.

jeff-brooks.jpgSpokesperson Jeff Brooks from Duke said that 400 came from the Raleigh, Durham area and nearly 1500 total including contractors were mobilized to respond to the damage.  Some linemen themselves left families that were without power to come to restore electricity to Seminole. He offered a unique perspective for the linemen from Raleigh.  He said that up there most of the poles are in resident’s front yards and here in Florida they are often in the back yards which makes it more difficult for equipment to access to restore poles.  Their linemen climbed more vertical on this trip than in many years up there.

He also recognized that customers were frustrated about not having power and that their linemen were up to the challenge of getting power restored quickly.  He outlined how the Storm Command Center in St. Petersburg called the game plan of where the crews would work.

A special thanks to all the Seminole Businesses and residents that supported the event.

Thanks to the Seminole Band and the Seminole Band Boosters who provided great entertainment and also helped organize the outpouring of generosity from the community.

For more pictures of the event, visit Altra Medical's Facebook page www.facebook.com/AltraMedical

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