The Daytona 3,000 – Power Crews from All Over U.S. Stage at Daytona International Speedway…

Warning, Toxic Masculinity Alert! LOL

After a hurricane, lunch-buckets are the second-best ‘buckets’… believe me.

So far over 3,000 power crews have arrived at the Daytona Intl Speedway staging area, with more en route.  That’s a not-so-small army of over 16,000 lineman and electrical utility personnel staged and prepared to jump into action depending on the impact zone of Hurricane Dorian.

The power crews are from all over the United States and Canada, with more on the way to alternate staging areas. The logistics of assembling an army of hardhats is intense, but these calloused and determined hands are some of the true-grit heroes in the aftermath of any hurricane event.

The Daytona International Speedway works great and holds almost perfect facility structure to support the scale of food, fuel and logistics.  Daytona is one of twenty-four staging areas throughout the Southeast where crews are assembling.

[Florida Plunder and Loot] (FP&L) Company President Eric Silagy welcomed crews to Florida.

“So we’re here at Daytona Beach today at the raceway where we’re onboarding crews are coming in from across the country,” Silagy said. “Today we’re processing about 750 crews. Close to 3,000 will be processed here within the next 24 hours.”

He said FPL has nearly 16,000 personnel committed to power restoration around the state.  The company is also planning to have 24 staging sites.

”We’re preparing for the worst, we’re hoping for the best, but we’re going to be ready,” Silagy said. (link)

See the rainbow?

Angels on our shoulders“… toldyaso.

Have faith in your family and friends. Be thankful for the marvels of technology that allow us to prepare and be proactive. Everything will be OK, even if we lose all your material possessions; we will be OK.

Our trucks are loaded; our teams are staged; there are thousands of really decent, hard-working and smart people ready to move and activate if recovery is needed. We have angels on our shoulders.

Strive to be thankful amid adversity.

You’re worth it!

.

As many long-time readers will know, we do have a little bit more than average experience dealing with the aftermath of hurricanes. I ain’t no expert in the before part; you need to heed the local, very local, professionals who will guide you through any preparation, and neighborhood specific guidelines, for your immediate area.

But when it comes to the ‘after part‘, well, as a long-time CERT recovery member perhaps I can guide you through the expectation and you might find some value. Consider this little word-salad a buffet, absorb what might be of value pass over anything else.

When the winds reach around 40mph, the utility company will likely, proactively, shut down the power. This makes things a heck of a lot safer in the aftermath; and much easier and safer during the rebuild. Don’t expect the power to be turned back on until it is safe.

Hurricanes can be frightening; downright scary. There’s nothing quite like going through a few to reset your outlook on just how Mother Nature can deliver a cleansing cycle to an entire geographic region.

Telephone and power poles, yes, even the concrete ones, can, and likely will, snap like toothpicks. There’s a sound when you are inside a hurricane that you can never forget. It ain’t a howl, it’s a roar. A damn scary roar that just won’t quit…. it will… eventually, but at the time you are hearing it, it doesn’t seem like it will ever end.

A constant, and pure rage of scary wind that doesn’t ebb and flow like normal wind and storms… hurricane wind just starts and then stays, sometimes for hours. Relentless and damn scary…. it just won’t let up. And then, depending on her irrelevant opinion toward your insignificant presence, she stops.

Then silence.

No birds. No frogs. No crickets. No sound.

Nature goes mute. It’s weird.

We have no idea how much ambient noise is around us, until it stops.

Oh, if she wants, she’ll keep dumping buckets on you as she wanders away. Buckets. Not pails, garbage can sized buckets. After the scour, yup, nature too has a rinse cycle.

If your town, city or hamlet is not underwater, there will be convoys coming to construct a pre-planned electricity grid recovery process. Convoys from every city, town and state from the east-coast to the mid-west. A glorious melding of dirty fingernails all arriving for the meet-up. Depending on your proximity to the bigger picture objectives at hand, you will cherish their arrival.

But first, there will be an assessment. The convoys will stage at pre-determined locations using radios for communication. Street-by-street everything needs to be evaluated prior to thinking about beginning to rebuild a grid. Your patience within this process is needed; heck, it ain’t like you’ve got a choice in the matter…. so just stay positive.

Meanwhile, you might walk outside and find yourself a stranger in your neighborhood.

It will all be cattywampus.

Trees gone, crap everywhere, if you don’t need to travel, DON’T.

I mean CRAP e.v.e.r.y.w.h.e.r.e.

Stay away from power-lines.

Be entirely prepared to be lost in your own neighborhood and town for days, weeks, and even months. Unknown to you – your subconscious mind is like a human GPS mapping system. If that raging Dorian takes away the subconscious landmarks I guarantee you – you are gonna get lost, make wrong turns, miss the exit etc.

It’s kinda funny and weird at the same time.

Your brain is wired to turn left at the big oak next to the Church, and the road to your house is likely two streets past the 7-11 or Circle-k. You don’t even notice that’s how you travel around town; that’s just your brain working – it is what it is.

Well, now the big oak is gone; so too is the Circle-K and 7-11 signs. Like I said, everything is cattywampus. Your brain will need to reboot and rewire. In the interim, you’re gonna get lost… don’t get frustrated.

No street signs. Likely no stop signs. No traffic lights.

Remember, when it is safe to drive, every single intersection must be treated like a four-way stop…. and YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE TO PAY ATTENTION. Even the major intersections.

You’ll need to override your brain tendency to use memory in transit. You’ll need to pay close attention and watch for those who ain’t paying close attention. Travel sparingly, it’s just safer.

Check on your-self first, then your neighbors. It don’t matter if you’ve never said a word to the guy in the blue house before. It ain’t normalville now.

Break out of your box and check on the blue house down the street too. In the aftermath, there’s no class structure. Without power, the big fancy house on the corner with a pool is just a bigger mess. Everyone is equally a mess.

The first responders in your neighborhood are YOU.

You, the wife, your family, Mrs. Wilson next door; Joe down the street; Bob’s twin boys and the gal with the red car are all in this together. If you don’t ordinarily cotton to toxic masculinity you will worship it in the aftermath of a hurricane. Git-r-done lives there.

Don’t stand around griping with a 40′ tree blocking the main road to your neighborhood. Figure out who’s got chainsaws, who is trained on how to use them, and then set about clearing the road.  If every neighborhood starts clearing their own roadways, the recovery crews can then move in for the details.

Stage one focuses on major arteries… then secondary… then neighborhood etc. It’s a process. Oh, and don’t get mad if your fancy mailbox is ploughed-over by a focused front end loader who is on a priority mission to clear a path. Just deal with it.

Phase-1 recovery is necessarily, well, scruffy…. everyone is just moving and managing the mess; not trying to clean it up yet. It’ll be ok.

Keep a joyous heart filled with thankfulness; and if you can’t muster it, then just pretend.

Don’t be a jerk. You will be surrounded by jerks…. elevate yourself.

If you need to do a few minutes of cussing, take a walk. Keep your wits about you and stay calm.

Now, when the recovery teams arrive…. If you pass a line-man, pole-digger or crew say thanks. Just simple “thanks”. Wave at them and give them a thumbs-up. No need to get all unnecessarily familiar, a simple “thank you for your help” will generally suffice. You know, ordinary people skills.

Many of these smaller crews will be sleeping in cots, or in their trucks while they are working never-ending shifts. If you eventually start getting power back, and see a crew in a restaurant, same thing applies… “thanks guys”. If you can pay their tab, do it. If you can pay their tab without them knowing, even better.

Same goes for the tanker truckers. The convenience stores with gas pumps are part of the priority network. Those will get power before other locales without power. Fuel outlets are a priority. Hospitals, first responders, emergency facilities, fuel outlets, then comes commercial and residential.

Remember, you are the first responder for your neighborhood. Don’t quit.

Recovery is a process. Depending on the scale of the impact zone, the process can take days, weeks and even months. Take care of your family, friends and neighborhood, and generally make a conscious decision to be a part of any needed solution.

It’ll be ok.

It might be a massive pain in the a**, but in the end, it’ll be ok.

√Andrew

√Jeanne

√Frances

√Ivan

√Charley

√Irma

√Michael

Dorian?…

Keep a good thought. Who knows, we might even end up shaking hands.

It’ll be OK. Promise.

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174 Responses to The Daytona 3,000 – Power Crews from All Over U.S. Stage at Daytona International Speedway…

  1. Johnny says:

    I a little background on myself. I am a powerline Supervisor in Oklahoma. I have been doing powerline work for right at 30 years. I came to Florida my first time for hurricane Andrew(Seems like an eternity ago).
    I worked as powerline contractor for a company called Pike Electric back then. Those are some of the hardest working men you will ever meet. Pray for them everyday.

    Regardless of all the safety gear we use today, on big storms like these with so many crews working in close proximity there will be electrical fatalities. My last storm chasing tour I went on there were 4 men killed the first week in aftermath of hurricane.

    All that being said, let me tell you what 1 killer of lineman. The electrical generator. If you are not an electrical tradesman please do not plug a generator into a receptacle in you home while power is out. This will cause a dangerous backfeed thru your electrical meter into the transformer outside that reduces the elctrical voltage for your home use. If a powerline line crew hears a generator running they will ask you to disconnect while they work outside. Please do not be a jerk , it is a dangerous business they do.

    And above all else just a heartfelt thank you makes these mens day.

    Liked by 6 people

    • Johnny says:

      Tell you about Numher 1 killer.

      I fat fingered my phone. Sorry

      Liked by 1 person

    • skipper1961 says:

      Johnny,
      EXCELLENT advice! Much obliged for your reminding everyone of that.

      Like

    • Contrarymary says:

      Thank you for what you do. During the massive Carr fire here in Northern California, there were signs everywhere thanking the firemen, police and national guard. What I saw, though were hundreds of linemen, from the telephone and electric companies, coming in after working looong hours, looking like they were ready to collapse. Nobody was thanking them for getting our power up and running. Often, they were being yelled at for it not being fast enough. I made a point to thank them, loudly, in front of everyone for the work they were doing and letting everyone know how hard they working, with very little gratitude. Gradually, the signs started popping up, with them added.

      Like

    • Elle says:

      I’m probably not alone in not fully understanding what you are saying. I’m thinking.. why would you plug in a generator if the power is not working. Don’t they work on gas and you plug into it directly. So sue me if that’s a stupid question. If I ever have to figure out how to use my generator in an emergency, I don’t want to do it wrong and kill someone.

      Like

      • Elle says:

        From: https://www.remc.com/storm-center/electrical-safety-during-and-after-storms Portable Generators
        “Can’t I just plug my generator directly into one of my home’s outlets?
        Do not connect generators directly to the household wiring unless an appropriate transfer switch has been installed by a licensed, qualified electrician.

        What could happen if I don’t have a transfer switch installed?
        Without the proper transfer switch, power provided by the generator can “backfeed” along the power lines, creating a significant electrocution hazard for anyone coming in contact with the lines, including lineworkers making necessary repairs.

        Like

        • dollops says:

          I’m surprised that no one has said, “Open your main electrical feed switch.” Surely your homes have a main knife switch at the top of the panel. Anyone competent enough to successfully connect a gen set in case of a power outage must also be able to pull the big main switch handle. The notion that an expensive transfer switch is necessary is parallel to the one that 3 million kids must wear bike helmets to protect just one of them from head injury (look up the numbers on that – there is about as much chance that a bike helmet will do anything other than look stupid as that the child will be hit by lightning while riding. Same goes for child safety seats beyond two years of age).

          Like

      • JK says:

        Yes Elle the generators run on gas but that’s not the problem.

        You’re familiar with the computerese “Garbage in garbage out”?

        Well lets turn that around so is applicable to generators, “Gasoline in, electrical power out.”

        You do see don’t you, the problem if you run a cord from the output side of a generator and then you plug into your home’s electrical system? Say the circuit supplying your refrigerator? Do you know Elle, what a “transfer switch” is? Unfortunately for the linemen whenever these ’emergency events’ blow up and people rush out and buy generators too frequently people neglect to do the necessary homework. Put simply, a ‘transfer switch’ removes the load (a private home in this case) from the line side (the electrical utility provider) but if there’s not been a transfer switch installed by a qualified and licensed electrician things tend to go haywire at lightning speed (and that’s fast).

        You’ve seen those ‘barrel-shaped thingys’ (usually gray in color) that are interspersed along the electrical supplying poles? Or sometimes there’s some box-like structure (usually green) that sits embedded in the ground between where the utility supply comes in and then from either the gray barrel looking thingy or the green box structure?

        What those thingys are called is “transformers.” In normal times those transformers “step down” the electrical power the utility is supplying to the neighborhood. But hurricane events tend to make the whole electrical supply chain “not normal.”

        If a generator is connected in anyway whatsoever to the utility (line) side and that generated power (electrical current) has a path to a transformer, rather than the supplied electricity being stepped down it gets stepped up. And that is bad. Actually Elle it’s worse than bad – it’s calamitous.

        I hope my simplifying as quickly as I could is of some help to you Elle.

        Like

      • dollops says:

        The reason to run your generator power through your house wiring is that your appliances are already “plugged in” and you just need juice in the circuits to run fridge, freezer, lights, device chargers, etc. It’s not that simple though; you must turn off the breakers to any high power drawing units like electric furnace/AC, water heater, range, and while you’re at it all non-essentials. Also, your gen set must have a 220 volt outlet and you have to prepare a patch cord that will plug into a 220 volt socket (range or dryer type) somewhere in your home not too far from where the generator can run safely. Finally, as I comment below, don’t forget to isolate your improvised electrical supply from the utility lines by pulling the big handle at the top of your breaker panel, opening a master switch WHICH MUST REMAIN OPEN UNTIL YOUR GENERATOR HAS BEEN DISCONNECTED.

        Like

        • Elle says:

          Dollops, thank you so much for such a great explanation! It was very interesting. I’ve always just flipped on the lights and viola! the lights magically turn on. I love getting new insight on things I’ve always taken for granted. I must admit, despite you wording that in the most basic language possible, which I read over several times, I still feel a bit like my mother-in-law must have felt when I told her how to use windows for the first time: “move the mouse, the mouse, this is the mouse, move it no, no, ROLL it on the pad……etc. 🙂

          .So you can feel assured that I will not be ever be the one preparing a “patch cord”. I bought my husband a generator as a birthday gift years ago. and I have passed this information on to him. Should he be knocked unconscious by a tree branch, I will not listen to some neighbor helping me unless, he/she knows about isolating the improvised electrical supply from the utility lines and opening the master switch.

          Just one question, “opening means “off” right? haha, just kidding. Seriously though, it seems like more effort should be expended in letting uniformed people know about this danger. Thanks for doing your part!!

          Liked by 1 person

    • For heaven’s sake if you are going to live in Florida have a transfer switch installed with a generator socket. Then you can mostly power your house safely with a genny. There is always someone who will figure out a stupid way hurt themselves just don’t hurt anyone else!

      Like

  2. Nancy at 7000 ft says:

    Thank you for an excellent article. I clicked on it just to see all the bucket trucks at the Daytona Speedway, but the bit about being the first responder in your own neighborhood was even better.

    Like

  3. Handy N Handsome says:

    My son is down there, holed up in the Disney Hilton with a bunch of crews that were moved into place from the raceway.
    He and a company from up here in North Maine drove down last week to help with the recovery.
    He tried to get the higher ups to let them have bucket truck races, but they said maybe after the power is back on LOL.
    Over 18,000 deplorables waiting for the inevitable mess to clean up.
    Pray for their safety.

    Like

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