Lineman Central has been reporting on Hurricane Ian recovery efforts for the past week.
The Great Lineman Response to Hurricane Ian
On Wednesday, Ian smashed into southwest Florida as a Category 4 hurricane, pulverizing coastal homes and trapping residents with floodwaters, especially in the Fort Myers and Naples areas. It pushed inland into Thursday, bringing strong winds and damaging flooding to central and northeastern areas.
Enter the American Lineman. The often forgotten, unsung hero that few think about when the word first responder is said.
We saw a huge uptick on The Lineman Central National Work Database.
Lineworkers across the country began taking jobs that would put them on the trail to Florida.
During the past week lineman from across the country have worked furiously to return power.
The major electric providers reporting outages in Florida includes:
Florida Power & Light Company
Glades Electric Cooperative
Lee County Electric Coop
Peace River Electric Cooperative
Where Lineman Traveled from for Hurricane Ian
Duke Energy played a key role in helping coordinate these efforts. Duke sent nearly 800 line workers from Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana in addition to 10,000 lineworkers from other parts of the southeast to help with power outages in Florida amid Hurricane Ian.
Here are some of the notable traveling crews from across the country that made the trek to help out Floridians (and surrounding areas):
Municipal Electric Utilities of Wisconsin (MEUW) worked side-by-side with Kissimmee Utility Authority (KUA) employees and other mutual aid crews. Workers from 22 Wisconsin communities will helped with recovery work that is expected to be needed in the wake of Hurricane Ian.
Westerville Electric Division sent a team of 20 line workers.
Three teams of electrical workers from Nebraska made the trip Florida. Vehicles and employees from Lincoln Electric System are traveled to Tallahassee.
Oklahoma Gas and Electric Company, the company that serves Fort Smith, mobilized crews to send east last week. About 95 crews headed to Tampa, Florida, to wait to respond to areas with any outages.
Southwestern Electric Power Company crews left Tuesday morning, bringing 261 crew members. 20 of them from their Fayetteville center.
Atlantic Power Constructors sent a crew of 40 lineworkers.
A crew of six linemen from Independence Power and Light made the trip down to help Floridians.
O’Connell Electric Company sent about 160 of line workers from the Rochester area. They are currently stationed in Daytona and will be dispersed to anywhere from Jacksonville to Port Saint Lucie.
Over 200 lineworkers from AES made the trip down to Florida to help
How fast Lineworkers got the power back on
Crews working in partnership with Florida Power and Light have been able to restore power to approximately 1.6 million customers. This was a colossal effort with teams from over 30 states.
Duke Energy Florida expects to have 90% of its outages restored by Sunday night as it works to get a vast majority of customers back on by midnight.
The back of the napkin math on line workers getting paid during this past week can be staggering.
~40,000 Lineworkers x ~$80/hr + per diem. We’re talking $3.5-4 million an hour for this. So to repair power after a hurricane is literally in the $40 million/day range.
It is interesting to note the baseline speed when a hurricane hits and typically how long it takes for power crews to react and respond.
Enough time to have a little fun..
Finally it was worth noting that all this travel did change up the local dating scene.