South Plains Electrical Workers Head South to Restore Power - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

9/16/08

South Plains Electrical Workers Head South to Restore Power

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Here on the South Plains many people are willing to help out in multiple ways for those who came in close contact with Hurricane Ike.  Not only are the Red Cross and the Salvation Army helping make a difference, but many South Plains electrical workers are also lending a hand. 

Hurricane Ike left over a million of residents in the dark and Xcel Energy is ready to help out.  They sent down 50 South Plains' employees to Shreveport, Louisiana early Tuesday morning. "I think it's a very, very serious situation. They are finding new damage everyday so these folks that left today (Tuesday) are packed for two weeks," said Steve Deaton. 

Steve Deaton with Xcel Energy says the work these guys have ahead of them is not easy. "You know they know that's what they are depended on. They are a unique and talented group, not everyone in the world can do what these guys do," said Deaton. 

The first crew from Xcel will be working 2 weeks straight for 16 hours a week.   

"Most people take it for granted.  You flip a switch and your lights come on, but most people do not realize what goes into that profession. It's a very challenging very technical and highly qualified position," said Greg Henley with Lyntegar Electric.   

Ten people from Lyntegar Electric in Tahoka were also called on for help. They left on Monday for Marshal, Texas and electrical work will not be their only task. "They'll be doing a lot of what we call service type work, not necessarily having to rebuild the whole line but having to put the wires back on the pole and unfortunately they have to spend a lot of their time clearing the brush out with chain saws and man power picking those limbs up and getting them free of those lines," said Henley. 

Henley says this is probably going to be one of the largest single outages in Texas history, and he is glad his crew can help out. "We're always pleased to do that and help our neighbors and hopefully they'll never have to return the favor. We don't want any ice storms out here when we have to ask them to come and help us, but we know in reality that could happen so we are glad to lend a hand and know that they will respond to back to us if that situation arises," said Hanley.    

Both crews are set to go for two weeks, but it could take up to a month to get all power restored.

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