Day 10 – Wednesday, September 20th Update

Doesn’t it always seem like the last hour of a long car drive is the longest. That’s kind of what it feels like tonight.  It’s as if all of us got on a bus together and started driving on a 12 day trip around the world. It was slow going at first while we were figuring out how to get where we wanted to go.  Then things moved more smoothly with many of you getting off the bus as your power got restored. Now tonight there’s only a few of us left but it seems like this last little bit is slowing us down.

As of our last report of the night we have less than 1,500 members without power.  It is truly amazing what our crews have been able to accomplish in such little time. And even though this last little bit might feel like we are going slow, we will not stop until we are at full restoration.

Here’s a review of Jeff’s daily message to the members: We’ve had a great day. Our whole system is now at 90% restored.  Our biggest movement was in Highlands County where we are at 91% restoration.  Since last nights report we got 1,007 new meters hot again.  We only have 663 meters left in all of Highland’s County.  They are doing a tremendous job. They got half of Buttonwood Bay on tonight and are continuing to work on the other half.  Hang in there Buttonwood Bay. Everything that we can get energized in Lorida is hot. There are a few members there that have damage to their meter or service and they are going to have to get an electrician to get that repaired. If you have damange make sure you keep us informed once you have repaired your home.

In Hendry County we didn’t make big movement. We did pick up 64 new meters since last night. We are now at 76% restored. With 826 meters left. We have a transmission lie heading down to Big Cypress where 20 poles were down. We are getting close to them all being back up. We expect to have them all up by tomorrow evening. We’ll pull the wire Friday morning and hopefully have it done shortly after lunch and start getting Big Cypress Reservation energized after that. It should be a big day tomorrow ad close to wrapping things up on Friday.  There’s a few places out there that are hard to get to but we are attempting to get everywhere we can. If you feel neglected out there, if all your neighbors are on and you aren’t, make sure you give us a call. I just heard from a member not long ago and we are checking on him. Keep in touch. We are getting close to the end. Thanks for all your patience and support of all our guys out there working so hard. They’re out there till midnight sometimes and they’re getting tired.  Please show some appreciation when you get a chance. Remember, if your out of power the more questions you ask the crews the longer it is going to take them to get that power restored. Just say thanks and let them get on with their work.  We’re getting close. Thank you all and good night.

The great news is our reports keep getting shorter and shorter!

Crews have been making steady progress working the line down 835 to be ready to energize the area around Jackman and get to Big Cypress Reservation.  They finished everything on the circuit with Montura that could take power.  Anything left is waiting on repairs on the members side.

While crews have been working to reach Big Cypress we also have a crew in Big Cypress getting all of those lines there ready to be energized as soon as the line down 835 is complete.  The crews already at the reservation are about 75% done and should be ready when the line is completed.  There’s also another crew working on lines coming off of 835 so they will be ready to go when that line goes hot as well.

There is a crew in Gerber Groves and is about 70% done.  Tomorrow they will begin energizing the line there section by section until they reach the residences there. All of Lakeport/Brighton is up including Potato Grade Road.

Work was also being done around Uncle Joe’s Fish Camp but a status was not available as this report was being written.

In the north, Crews worked all day today and just this evening were able to energize all of Buttonwood Bay and Lake Francis tonight with the exception of one transformer in BWB (serving approx. 15 members). They will be back in BWB tomorrow to replace that transformer.  A lot of work continues in Venus and we are getting really close to total restoration here. There are a few camp houses still off in Okeechobee and one pole down at a horse barn but all residences are restored.  If you are in Okeechobee and don’t have power call us as soon as possible so we can investigate.

We picked up quite a few single isolations in the Josephine area today.  All of Shasta Daisy is up and Lorida is completely up.  There is still a little work being done down 70E, 70W and down 27 (poles down) but we are very close to full restoration in Highlands Park.  Mike, the head of our north crews, feels very confident we will meet our deadline of full restoration before the end of the day Sunday. (He’s really hoping for a day off!)

For my daily gratitude I have to give another round of thanks to the Glades County School District as well as the students of Everglades Elementary School in Okeechobee.  Thank you cards keep flowing in for the crews from the students and they really do love to see them.  If you haven’t gotten a chance to view the video posted on our page earlier by the West Glades School students you have really missed out. Great job students, we were impressed! Another thanks I would like to give is to our crew in Operations.  This is Becca’s team and they are quite an amazing bunch. Laz, Zack, Emily, Kristin, and Jim have held the operations center together even with so many extra crews on our lines. It hasn’t been easy and it’s a thankless, frustrating job sometimes but they manage to keep in high spirits and get the job done in amazing fashion.

As always, be safe, stay away from downed wires, use generators responsibly, and drink plenty of water. Find peace tonight and I look forward to our update tomorrow. –Denise