Picture of Janet


Among Them, Lineman

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We are used to hurricanes and their aftermath here on the Gulf Coast. I say used to, as if you can ever get used to massive, whirling storms that spawn tornadoes, uproot decades old trees, flood streets and disrupt city utilities for days. I don’t like to think about the lives lost.

After the storm disintegrates to remnants of wind and pressure systems the recovery begins. It’s always massive, communal, and personal.

It’s a time when you stop and wonder who figures out the power grids that supply a city, a home with the constant flow of electricity. Electricity that powers gasoline pumps, refrigerators, hair dryers, and breathing machines.

In every time past, my experiences have led me to wonder at the generosity of first responders. There are hosts of them that deal with people in hospitals and nursing homes. They put out fires. They pick up garbage.

The ones I remember the best are the crews, with lineman skilled in working among dangling wires, jiggling and sparking, electricity crackling in the air around them. Because I have watched them fill my yard, untangle the lines from downed trees and restore power to my house. Several times. Their license plates and accents told me they weren’t from around my town.

I watched the news as crews of electric repairmen headed for New York, from here on the Gulf Coast. I know they will work long hours in dangerous conditions to aid the East Coast of my country to get power back to those who don’t have it… along with crews from other places.

God bless you all. All you first responders. And God bless all those to whom they are responding…

4 Responses

  1. AMEN! AMEN! Having experienced a major ice storm in 2009, northeast Arkansas, Missouri, Kentucky & Tennessee looked like a bomb had been dropped. Without power for over 3 weeks in freezing temperatures, with no generators or chain saws to be had for hundreds of miles, made for a challenging and exhausting experience. Had it not been for those responders from soooo many states and the National Guard, it would have been months without power instead of 3 weeks. Like most, I grew impatient – but that quickly vanished after talking to these folks who spent days and days in my yard. They were from all over the United States and spent weeks and months away from home. They, too were exhausted. Even harder to believe, they worked 12 hr. days and then had to drive a 100 miles or more to stay at night in a motel with heat, just to drive back and do it all again the next day. The sacrifice they make to help others goes way beyond what their pay could possibly be for such hard work. God bless them, and God bless those folks that are living the horrors of it all right now.

  2. Well said Janet! The crews from the power companies meet some really kind people on these trips and those memories stick with them. My husband still talks about a family deep in the country in a tiny Louisiana town who came to them mid-morning and asked if they would like a hot lunch. Since all they had been eating were sandwiches from Jason’s Deli they jumped at the offer and had some of the best food on their trip!

    Theresa, my husband was on the crew that went to help you in 2009. He is a mechanic and it was quite different for them with trucks that have not been winterized and having to get out there before the crews were ready to leave to make sure everything started each morning. It’s because of that trip that we chose to spend a week this month driving through Arkansas, up to the Branson area, to enjoy the spectacular views, especially with fall color!

  3. Thanks for the reminder of all who sacrifice to help those affected from storms and the like. At the present time
    we have a daughter and 2 year old grandson with us from CT in an area hard hit by Sandy. Our son-in-law is
    staying to work his job and also to watch over their home. They will be without power for quite a while as many
    linemen will be coming in to help with repairs. This has been the second year in a row for this to happen and
    yet we are all thankful for those who come to help. We are watching reports of those who are having circumstances
    far worse, so again we are thankful.

  4. You bet these folks are some of the thankless heroes that keep us safe and sound during some of the roughest times. As I was coming home from Birminham, AL this weekend where I had been with my sister who had surgery last week, I saw many, many, many convoys of these troopers in their bucket truck brigades heading towards the east on I-20 and knowing they would somewhere be turning northward to go behind Sandy. I said a prayer every time I saw another group of them heading down the highway in the opposite direction I was traveling. As I watched each flashing light fade in the distance in my rearview mirror, I knew they were headed into harm’s way and would not know what they were facing until they got there. They were like an army headed into war, not realizing what devastation had already commenced as they drove eastward. Their mission is great. Their will and determination is unfathonable. Their stamina and courage immeasurable. They push on long into the day and on into the night. We can not thank them enough!

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