LES working through material shortages to bring power back in Louisiana
Lincoln Electric workers are sifting through the wreckage of Hurricane Ida to bring power back to Houma, Louisiana.
LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Lincoln Electric workers are sifting through the wreckage of Hurricane Ida to bring power back to Houma, Louisiana.
“This is probably the worst [damage] I’ve seen down here,” LES supervisor of T&D construction Dave Sehi said. “You really don’t realize how bad it is till you’re actually on site.”
Aside from a few generators, the town is completely out of power.
“It’s gonna be several weeks, if not a month before some of these areas see power,” Sehi said.
Every day, LES workers make a two-hour commute from Lafayette to Houma. Right now, they are working on repairing two miles of power lines that were knocked down during the hurricane.
“The poles are all [misaligned], they’re either leaning severely due to the wind and/or broken off,” Sehi said. “So it’s not really saving any of the poles, we’re having to set all new ones and trying to salvage what material we can.”
The project is expected to take at least a week to complete. One of the biggest issues LES is working through is a material shortage – even with everyday things.
“We spent almost an hour last night just trying to get fuel for our vehicles when we got back to Lafayette because all the gas stations are out,” Sehi said. “So you kind of have to plan accordingly and plan ahead and try to utilize what what you can where you’re at.”
Another issue crews are dealing with is congestion, especially with people returning home after the hurricane.
“We’re trying to haul 60 to 65 foot poles around through neighborhoods, and you have people trying to get back to their homes and sightseers and stuff like that,” Sehi said. “People just drive around because nobody’s working right now.”
Still, LES workers are committed to accomplishing the task at hand.
“It makes you feel pretty good when you can go up to the homeowners and talk to them and make them feel good about what you’re doing,” Sehi said.