Duke Energy sending crews north to help restore power
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -
On Wednesday, 125 local Duke Energy employees will be headed to Cleveland and Manhattan to help the efforts to restore power in those areas.
30 employees, including Duke Energy line workers, tree trimmers, damage assessors and other support personnel, are gong to Cleveland. Large bucket trucks and pole setting trucks met at the Cincinnati Mall and left in a caravan.
Duke also sent a group of 20 employees who specialize in underground restoration work to Manhattan to assist in restoring their underground infrastructure damaged by the storms.
"It's a lot of work," said Golden Watson, Duke Energy employee. "People are taken away from their families but in these times of need, we're there to assist and get it back on as quickly and most effectively as possible."
While these workers are packed for two weeks, most power restoration work is unpredictable with many contributing factors.
"The storm dictates much of the restoration work," explained Sally Thelen, spokesperson for Duke Energy. "It may go out further beyond two weeks. It's not going to be atypical to give an opportunity to have those folks potentially stay or look for other folks here that maybe more of a fresh set of legs, if you will, that will be interesting in traveling to do assistance."
Before heading east, each team goes through a safety briefing to discuss the specific challenges it will face.
The crews are partnered with workers from local power companies to assure safety.
Despite leaving friends and family here in Cincinnati, workers were optimistic about being called in to assist the affected areas.
"They are proud. They want to be out there, they want to make a difference," added Thelen. "Some of them said, 'You know, if you could just tell the people in Cleveland or in New York, help is on the way. We're coming.' I mean this is kind of what they live for. Storm work, whether it's in our own back yard or somewhere else, they know when they get somewhere and get someone's power back on, they're appreciated."