Power company workers battle blazing heat

Linemen working on power lines are feeling the heat with temperatures climbing to dangerous levels.

"Well if it's 105 out here it's probably 120 in the bucket with gloves and sleeves on," crew leader Danny Clemmons ventured.

There is no escaping the sun when you are sitting in a metal bucket high in the sky.

"You're in a three and a half foot wide by two and a half foot wide [bucket] and there's not a lot of room to move around," Bruce Taylor with Owen Electric explained. "You're in cramped quarters and usually you've got a second guy in there with you and it gets pretty hot."

With the temperatures as high as they have been, linemen know it becomes dangerous to stay up in the bucket for too long.

"If a guy gets too hot we'll let him in the truck and get the air conditioning on him for a while," Taylor said.

"We've been switching about every hour," Clemmons explained.

On cool days, however, he says they'll work most the day without switching.

They say even on the ground there is no escaping the sun.

"We've got a few guys with linemen's tans: just their face and hands are tan," Taylor said.

"Mainly just the hands, that's all you get," Clemmons added.

"One guys looks like he's got an ostrich egg for a belly when he takes his shirt off it's so white," Taylor said with a laugh.

The long sleeved shirts are no match for 100 plus heat indexes.

"Oh sweat?" Nate Pickett questioned looking down at his shirt. "Yeah, I sweat a lot."

No matter the temperature linemen are required to wear a fire retardant long-sleeved button up shirt, rubber sleeves, rubber gloves, a hard hat and safety goggles. They say it is a love hate relationship with the uniform, one these days filled more with the latter.

"Yes, yeah a lot of days," Clemmons admitted.

They say on days like the tri-state has had lately, water is more important than ever.

"Cold water, that's a must," Clemmons emphasized.

They say at the end of the day they cannot wait to ditch the heat.

"Aww, just beat, just beat," Pickett said. "[I] just go sit in the AC."

They say there is no hug waiting for them when they get home after a long hot day on the lines, however.

"No I have to take a shower first," Chris Dempsy said with a smile.