During Storm Restoration . . .
after Wilma created havoc in South Florida Glades Electric Cooperative
completed an unbelievable amount of work. Check it out.
Our crews . . .
Worked 8,217 man hours
Replaced 342 distribution poles
Installed 477 cross arms
Replaced 79 transformers
Erected 48 transmission poles
Went through 1,305 pounds of laundry
Used 6,600 bags of ice
Consumed 30,480 soft drinks/bottled waters
As soon as it was safe to drive, all GEC employees reported to the office to begin assessing damages and learned of unimaginable devastation. Once damages were recorded and reported, management decided that additional line crews were essential to assist with restoration of power to our consumers in the shortest amount of time possible.
Within hours of the storm’s passing, we realized that we would need more than our 65 employees to get our lines re-built. Within two days we had 205 non-GEC employees working on our lines, a workforce 407% larger than a normal working day at GEC. These folks accumulated a total of 8,217.5 hours by working 19 out of 24 hours a day, seven days a week until all consumers’ power was restored.
You may be asking why you don’t see these folks working around the clock to restore power faster. The reason is substantial. Protecting the lives and safety of our employees and our visiting teams requires that every lineman must have at least 5 hours of rest in every 24 hour period. Everyday these dedicated “angels in hard-hats” reported to the restoration staging site at 5:30 a.m., consumed a hearty breakfast and were on the lines by 6:00 a.m. They worked tirelessly until 9:00 p.m., ate supper and collapsed in beds for a short five hour sleep. This rest time is necessary if they are to be able to work safely in a high risk job. Rest time occurs during the late hours of the night since that is when they find it most difficult to have clear vision of the lines they are working on. Energizing of lines by a tired lineman in the middle of the night could create a potentially dangerous, life-threatening situation.
We hope we never have a scenario that will give us the opportunity to meet or exceed the above records, but if we ever do, we will work to the best of our ability to restore our members’ power in a safe and timely manner.