A Big THANK YOU To U.S. Municipal Power Companies and Multi-State Tree Experts…

Earlier today multiple power companies and tree clearing organizations were rallying in South Florida to begin the long convoy back home.  Our CERT team knew we could not thank them all, there were/are over 60,000 people in the Florida power recovery effort, but we darned sure were going to try and thank as many as possible.

~”The Largest Power Restoration Effort in U.S. History”~

There are still areas in Florida where the power grid is being rebuilt and restored, however the vast majority of the work in SWFL (Marco Island, Naples, Bonita Springs, Fort Myers, Sanibel, Cape Coral, Collier and Lee Counties) is finished.  At this stage of completion the power and tree crews who came to assist head back to their home state and region.   Many of them began that trek home today.

There is no way to adequately outline the dedication we have witnessed in the impact zone from these incredible men and women and their traveling support groups.  Unless you actually witness them in action it’s indescribable.  Working 24/7 for two straight weeks, through intense blistering heat, through storms and sheet-rain, through the darkest nights, these crews were jaw-droppingly dedicated to the recovery effort; and this was no-where near home for them.

When I think of them leaving their families for weeks… of them wading through filth and muck to reach the hardest of areas… of the saltwater marsh up to their necks with equipment held over their heads… of the grit and determination…. of the callouses in every handshake and hug… of the colors of every helmet…. day-after-day, night-after-night no quit… well, I ain’t a tender person but damn if their sheer effort just doesn’t drop me to tears of appreciation.

Blazin’ chainsaws… solutions on the fly… engineering stuff and building it with a level of calloused ingenuity that would strike fear into any adversary questioning the strength and backbone of America.

I ain’t kidding you folks, sometimes we just stood there in awe… and we don’t do ‘awe’ easily.  These weeks we walked with men whose grit and determination was stunning.  The absolute unheralded, and generally invisible, pride of this nation.

Thunder-buckets of gratitude.

According to a news release from Ameren Missouri, crews were part of an army of 60,000 utility workers who mobilized to assist with restoration and recovery efforts. This was the largest power restoration effort in U.S. history.

According to the Edison Electric Institute, at Irma’s peak on Sept. 11, 2017 there were more than 7.8 million Floridians experiencing a disruption in electric service. With the help of mutual assistance, more than 97 percent of impacted residents have had service restored.

In the past two weeks we met people from every state in the nation that came to Florida to help.  Some came from small towns, others from major cities. Power crews and tree crews who paired up and shared some of the most ingenious solutions imaginable.  Bucket operators, line-men, diggers, fellers, engineers, mechanics, two-man, three-man, four-man crews who expanded and contracted their ranks as the specific need was defined and solution determined.

Sunburned faces with squints as deep as the joy they delivered.  From Ohio, Michigan, Montana, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Nevada, Missouri, Maine, Virginia, New York, New Jersey, Indiana, Kansas, Iowa and every region from the gulf of Mexico to the Canadian border…. from every-single-state.  Stunningly incredible people. America.

Convoys of hundreds of power trucks and tree removal trucks were headed back north, back home, today.   Single truck crews all the way up to massive metropolitan convoys of 20+, each in a single file waving farewell.

Having crossed paths with so many of them in action, seeing these convoys headed home was emotional.  We’re talking hundreds of trucks, maybe thousands, truthfully there’s no way of knowing because they were too numerous to count, and we were only on one small part of a single interstate.

America.

God knows I love this country, there ain’t a finer place in the universe.  And to those men and women who keep her tall….

THANK YOU !

 

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152 Responses to A Big THANK YOU To U.S. Municipal Power Companies and Multi-State Tree Experts…

  1. magagirl says:

    Amazing!! Thank you so much for letting us know about this marvel of human spirit and ingenuity. America’s spirit is alive and will survive. It Thrives!! 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸
    God bless all these people and their families.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Amazing! My family and I were traveling from Illinois to the Florida panhandle for a long-planned vacation and noticed many of these convoys heading north on Interstate 65. One in particular was easily 25-30 trucks in a row and appeared to be from Kansas City, MO. Truly heartwarming to see.

    Also, the fact that Ameren dispatched help doesn’t surprise me one bit. We have Ameren here in Illinois and they are fantastic! They’re always quick to get power back on, offer incentive programs for people to increase their house’s electrical efficiency, and lower rates quite frequently.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. 300 says:

    We have seen them several times over the last 20 years. Our part of Oklahoma is susceptible to ice storms. they come in buy the hundreds from all over the country. Work non stop in freezing icy conditions to restore power. We always take coffee and hot chocolate to the crews working around us to say thanks. Really dedicated men and women who do this for a living.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Allie says:

    God bless them every one…..You are the best. Thank you.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. nuthinmuffin says:

    as a florida resident, many thanks to those who worked hard in the summer heat to restore our grid

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Happy Flower says:

    I went to Bonita Springs to volunteering last week and these trucks were all over the place as well as the Orange Trucks – Trees Experts. THANK YOU SO MUCH!! Our community will be back to normal under the circumstances and our spirits are cheered with joy.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. alligatriot says:

    More appreciation, Sundance, for your timely post today!
    After President Trump diverted everyone’s attention (wonder what he’s up to!) to the Irrelevant Football League, it was a pleasure to read your article.
    As a native Floridian, it has been so gratifying to see the response from across the nation. Combined with the efforts of local heroes (go look in the mirror), the state has a head-start on a long road to recovery.

    THIS IS THE DEFINITION OF AMERICA!

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Joel says:

    Thanks, SD. This helps get over the NFL crap.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Alexej Buergin says:

    How about also thanking the teams from Canada?

    Like

  10. Sunshine says:

    Nice video. Short but sweet.

    Like

  11. Jim Jelinski says:

    Good column SunDance!
    Expresses what I thought after Katrina clobbered us here in Mississippi 12 years ago.
    I evacuated for the storm, came back late the next day, and there was an ARMY of power-line crews with their trucks, who started in the next day and just HAMMERED it until the job was done!
    Any person reading this…. If your power goes out, particularly late at night or in bad weather…. go find the guys working on the power lines and THANK them!

    Like

  12. Seeing all those power company trucks is truly comforting. As a native Louisianian, I know the suffering of hurricane recovery all too well. After Gustav, power was out for quite a long time. It could have been much longer had it not been for the army of Alabama Power company workers helping our local Entergy folks. What a blessing they were seeing them roll out every morning as they passed on the highway in front of the house. One day, I took a sheet of wall board that had blown off someone’s house nearby and wrote on it in big red letters…ROLL TIDE THANKS BAMA! It was great. Every morning a truck or two would stop and the Alabama guys would jump out and take a picture. Even their field supervisor stopped by to say hello and give us an update. And all this for an LSU fan to boot…LOL. We even got word one of the photos made the paper in Alabama. So, be sure to thank these guys whenever possible. It’s risky and difficult work. People can get desperate as well and we were told some of their workers were even threatened with a gun if they didn’t turn on the power right away. Like I said, this is truly dangerous work.

    Like

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