UPDATE: LES crews on way home after helping in Florida

UPDATE:

Hurricane Michael battered Florida, leaving a path of destruction the locals are still trying to recover from.

Last week, crews from Lincoln Electric System and Grand Island went down to Tallahassee to help local utility companies restore power to the area.

One of the crew leaders Jason Eisenmann talked about some of the dangers they faced.

“It’s a different situation when we go down to a storm like this because there’s so many crews working and you don’t know who anybody is,” Eisenmann said over the phone.  “There’s so many trees, you can’t see anything.”

He said they worked 16 hour shifts from Saturday to Tuesday and that they successfully helped reach the goal of restoring 90 percent of power by Sunday night.

Along the way, they encountered the local wildlife.

“We saw a couple snakes, but they were baby pythons and we just got away from them,” Eisenmann said.  “Spiders…called banana spiders…those things are everywhere.  They’re not harmful to us, but a couple guys did run into some of the cobwebs from them along with the spiders and took off running like little girls.”

He said they also benefited from the southern hospitality.

“We all packed bags and bags of snacks of food and drinks,” he said.  “Come to find out we didn’t have to do that.  Pretty much every crew was receiving Gatorade and water and food.  People would go to the stores and buy donuts in the mornings. 

“One lady said she had nothing to do all day, so she grilled chicken wings for everybody.”

The crews are now on their way home and Eisenmann said they expect to be back in Lincoln by Friday afternoon.

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LES workers were deployed to Florida a week ago to help with hurricane recovery.

We talked to one of the crew leaders Jason Eisenmann about all the work they’ve been doing.

He said starting Saturday, they’d been working 16 hour shifts, helping local utility companies restore power.

He said their goal was to help restore 90 percent of power by Sunday night and that they succeeded.

Some of the dangers they’ve faced were not being able to see because there are so many trees and encountering the local wildlife.

“We saw a couple snakes, but they were baby pythons and we just got away from them,” Eisenmann said over the phone.  “Spiders — called banana spiders — those things are everywhere.  They’re not harmful to us, but a couple guys did run into some of the cobwebs from them along with the spiders and took off running like little girls.”

Eisenmann said with that southern hospitality, they really didn’t need all the food they packed because the locals gave them so much food and water.

He said they’re driving home right now and expect to be back in Lincoln by Friday afternoon.

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