Day 11 – Thursday, September 21st Update

We have been talking about the light at the end of the tunnel for the past few days now and it is closer than ever. I love that the territory report is really starting to shrink down even though that means my conversation with many of you is coming to a close. It has been such an honor to interact with our members so much these past two weeks that I truly am going to miss our everyday interactions. You haven’t heard the last of me or my team here at GEC but we definitely are ready to take a bit of a break!

To all of school children who have sent in thank you cards, all I can say is WOW! We really have some amazing students in our area. I have to give credit to Ms. Rathbun’s class in Okeechobee for such an awesome job on those cards! I made sure the linemen in our Okeechobee area received them. Also a huge shout out to Mrs. Flemming’s class in Glades County for making sure the support staff that have been helping the lineman got their own special thank you’s. I can’t tell you how hard they have all worked this week and I know how much they appreciated a little recognition. There were even a group of Moore Haven MHS students who sent in cards and dropped off cookies and other goodies for the crews today. In fact, there were so many students that sent in notes and cards I probably missed a group (I feel horrible if I did but know that every card we received was given to the crews and employees). And if you didn’t have a chance to check out the video West Glades School made you missed out! Check it out here: https://youtu.be/m3ceuQ6a8vA.

Jeff posted a very early wrap up today so the numbers from earlier are a little outdated.  Our evening numbers show so much progress but I’ll let Jeff expand on them tomorrow.  Here’s a review of what he had to say earlier today: Hi Members, I’m coming to you early because I finally have my six week check up to get this brace off my arm. Since last night’s report we have restored another 463 meters in Highlands County. We are now down to 200 meters in that area.  Some meters could not be restored because of damage on your side. Until the building department puts their inspection on your meter we cannot reconnect the meter. So make sure, if you are in that situation, you contact the building department to get them to come by and put a sticker on your meter.  You’re not going to have to have a full inspection done, this is a shortcut for them and they will do some follow up on that later.  If you are out there in Highlands County and you don’t have power call 863-531-5000. We are getting down to the last few ones. Some of you live in report areas and there might be something going on so contact us and let us know. You can report this on the website as well at www.gladesec.com/safet/outages. In Hendry County we are still working on the transmission lines with five more poles to go up.  They are expected to be in by the end of the day and we can start pulling the wire in the morning. Hopefully we will be restoring services into the Big Cypress Seminole Reservation in the evening. That will pretty much be wrapping up Hendry County.  Again, give us a call if you are still without power (except in the Big Cypress area). We still have hundreds of people in the field taking care of little things here and there.  There will be continued reports on our Facebook and website. Keep looking and I’ll get back tomorrow morning or tomorrow evening or both.  Hang with us, we are almost to the end, it’s getting very close. We can’t wait until it’s all done. We are very tired here, been working long hours, and I know you are very tired too living without energy. Have a good day as best as you can. Bye.

All members in GLADES, HIGHLANDS, or OKEECHOBEE COUNTIES: If you are still without power AND there was no damage to your side of the meter AND you haven’t let us know already please report your outage again at www.gladesec.com/safety/outages. All members in these counties should have had their service restored.

All members in GLADES, HIGHLANDS, or OKEECHOBEE COUNTIES: If you had damage on your side of the meter and have had it repaired and inspected please call our office at 863-531-5000 to schedule a reconnection of service.

Crews have been working hard all day to fix the 5 remaining transmission poles heading to Big Cypress Reservation and the areas close to 835. We are still on schedule to begin running the line along those poles tomorrow and hopefully begin energizing that line some time tomorrow afternoon or evening.

In all counties we have crews still responding to single isolated outages, reconnects after repairs, and going back to fix a new outage like a tree limb on a line or a blown transformer fuse. We continue in these efforts.

My daily gratitude tonight goes out to our amazing communities.  As our lives are beginning to return to normal routines I hope we don’t forget to look around at the amazing things we witnessed. The connections we made to our neighbors like we do at no other times. The shoulders we have cried on and the hands that have reached out to help us. I grew up in a rural community just like this and I have lived in a big city. I have been fortunate enough to experience different cultures and areas of the country. I can’t think of another place I would want to live than right here in rural Florida. There is a strength here that can be found nowhere else. We face our own hardships but we pull together in our time of need and lift each other up. I have never felt as connected with a community as I do here and now. I am grateful for each and every one of you and my co-workers who make this such an amazing place to live.

We are at the point where I don’t think I have to remind you to stay away from downed lines or to use generators responsibly. How GREAT is that! I will still wish you peace and comfort tonight. –Denise