Utility workers and their trucks are staged in Florida, preparing to fix damage caused by Hurricane Ian

  1. That’s where I’m going rn. Sitting on the plane currently going into Alabama to wait it out then head in.

  2. You all fly out there? I understand that there is a big need for manpower, but where do you get the trucks from? Does each state have hundreds of extra trucks lying around, or does someone else bring out a truck for you all to use? Sorry if I sound ignorant, just not familiar with how it all works.

  3. Good luck. Is this something people have done for ages? It seems like a great way to address the increasing severity of storms in our lifetime. Or at least one vital part of it. I wonder why I've never seen a picture like this before.

  4. Used to work with a lady whose husband was a lineman. Snowstorm, ice storm, tornados, hurricanes. They take off and get things back running again.

  5. I’m Canadian and my buddy is a linesman. His crew has gone down south to help out with the big storms over the last few years. It’s nice to see everyone working together no matter where you’re from.

  6. The previous owner of my house was a lineman. I've had to replace the vast majority of the electrical devices, circuits, and boxes that he royally fucked. Just because you're a high voltage sparky doesn't mean you're good at home electrical work.

  7. Electric linemen who respond to natural disasters can make a ridiculous amount of money. I've worked with guys who travel out to areas struck by hurricanes and they make months of income in just a couple weeks.

  8. Worked for the power companies, storm seasons got crazy even for office personnel. Sleeping in the office for days until things were fixed. Really amazing how hard they jumped on it to get things back to normal.

  9. That's so fucking cool. I have so much respect for those hard workers. They know shit's about to go down and they're totally prepared

  10. Not just from Florida. ALOT of them are from neighboring states. This is gonna bring months of rebuilding.

  11. Tree guy here. Nothing like going down after a storm. Power out, trees in living rooms, looks like a bomb went off. You can make life changing money doing it too. Just always felt weird making a profit off of a disaster. Talk about some wild ass work though. Good lord. Running a chainsaw next to a china cabinet is something I’ll never forget.

  12. I have coworkers and friends from other companies that got to go. I wasn't lucky enough to go. We're from Texas by the way.

  13. In the midwest we had an ice storm that really screwed up the town of 10,000. The army of line workers sent in was inspiring. I was without power for less than 10 hours. The rest of the town was without power for less than a day.

  14. We were outdriving Florence on our way home from Florida and the only people on the other side of the highway were utility trucks. It was insane. We probably saw about 100 of them drive past us.

  15. Shout out to workers from Mississippi! Florida stepped up to help us when storms knocked us out, we are more than happy to return the help to Florida! Hope the damage is not very bad!

  16. and Tennessee, we sent down a ton for this storm. Some of the same group who helped after Katrina. It has been unreal.

  17. Mississippi citizens and workers are quick to volunteer. We know what it's like to struggle, and we're not afraid to struggle together. We also know how to bounce back after a major hurricane.

  18. I work at an electrical co-op in Northeast Mississippi. We are currently waiting on our state wide office to direct us where to go, but are planning on rolling out crews Friday morning first thing.

  19. Heros. I am sitting here watching the weather gradually get worse. Just waiting for the power to go out.

  20. I’ve been through several in south florida and the worst part was not having electricity for 30 days or more. Good luck

  21. We appreciate the support. It’s going to be a lot of work but this is why we sign up for this job.

  22. Lol, not usually. My step dad is one of those guys. Someone will call the alarm to start bringing in line crews from around the country a few days in advance, but no one ever bothers to think where these guys are going to eat or sleep themselves. So many times he’s had to sleep in his truck for days on end. Or there is nowhere to get food or any other supplies once they’re down there. Upper management does the bare minimum.

  23. It's just from the playbook we have in Florida. We get linemen from all over the country when a hurricane is on the way, sometimes even from Canada, and they're getting paid sometimes as much as 3x overtime rates, so it's a job people leap to pick up.

  24. The IBEW gets these guys triple-quadruple pay for these types of storms so there’s no shortage of hands getting ready to work.

  25. This Reminds me of the wave of utility trucks that came down to central Florida in 2004. There were so many different colors because they came from all over the country. It was quite a site to see. Took a good 3 months before most of Central Florida Was back to normal.

  26. well I can’t speak for linemen, but I know as tree trimmers that’s where some of the expensive equipment is kept overnight, etc. so to protect it from theft, the boom is raised. even if your average person finds the keys, they likely don’t know how to operate the bucket

  27. It’s good practice to make sure there aren’t any leaks in the hydraulics for the boom. It also lets the crew verify the lower controls and DC power etc work when they restart their shifts.

  28. Because we leave expensive tools up there we don’t want getting messed with. Also, it provides proof that everything’s working. If you come back in the morning and that upper boom has dropped considerably, you’ve got a leak somewhere in the hydraulic system.

  29. This photo was taken in a rural lot in The Villages, a massive and surreal retirement community somewhat like the town in The Truman Show. There was an awesome and surprisingly weird and fun documentary about that place that just came out recently on Hulu called Some Kind of Heaven.

  30. My dads one of those dudes keeping your lights on. It’s a hard fucking job, be grateful they are willing to work in the rain, snow, ice, or lightning. Lineman are bad asses. 🔥

  31. I'm sure it has happened but these staging areas are usually set up after the NHC Cone decides on a landfall. The 3 day NHC cone is 90% accurate so they are pretty sure about three days before landfall where they can park these guys and wait to roll out.

  32. Slogan of this decade, which is a race between cool vehicles/robots/AI and catastrophic yet also cool disasters.

  33. I manage a fiber NOC. Customers in FL have the balls to try to escalate their repairs already. We have field crews on lock down ffs. Get a grip.

  34. It's kinda comforting when you're driving south on I75 and there's a shit ton of these trucks heading down in preparation of a storm. These guys are like gold

  35. Funny how all of the Red States despise the Federal Government until they need FEMA to show up and save the day and coordinate the response to a disaster. Blue State money bails out Red State malfeasance or plain bad luck more than they want to admit.

  36. That's dope actually. I don't live in Florida but I used to live in North Carolina in the 90s and we got hit with like three major hurricanes when I was a kid. And once the power was out. it was out. They wasn't staging shit

  37. Certain neighborhoods get priority. There was an old guy on some sort of home life support machine on my street when I was a kid and we always got our power back within an hour or so.

  38. Usually the way that stuff goes, they can’t really get in to do much until after the storm has passed, usually by a few days, otherwise it’s too dangerous for them to even work. But, a lot of the mass staging and early calls were a direct result of Katrina. My step dad has been an electrical lineman since the early 90’s. He’s currently one of the guys in FL right now. I remember him openly complaining about needing better preparedness for storms when I was a kid. At least “they” are starting to learn.

  39. I’m a retired IBEW employee - that overtime is about to come in - it’s well earned tho, the hours they put on everyone is crazy! Stay safe, many thanks for helping my fellow Floridians & solidarity!

  40. being how this happens every few years, has anyone considered not living in hurricane prone areas. Truly baffled....workers are bad ass and cool as fuck though

  41. And utility companies still be getting calls like “I have not seen even 1 truck come by! My 1 year old needs her ipad.”

  42. I remember the ice storm we had here in New England about 20 years ago. Out of power for days in freezing weather. Then driving into town i noticed the cars behind me pull over, then i saw flashing yellow lights. Was a line of about 20 utility trucks come down from Canada to help. One of the nicest things ive ever seen.

  43. THIS is why electricity can be restored within days of a major storm in the lower 48, but Puerto Rico takes months to get fully up. We can stage utility trucks, resources and labor from any state in the lower 48. well before the storm hit. You can't pre-stage these trucks anywhere close to the Island, you can't even park the boat off shore. And if the storm damages the ports you have to wait till after they are cleared and repaired enough to unload them off a boat. THEN they can't be rapidly returned to their origin after it is over.

  44. Talked to my sister who is there right now and this is only part of one field of them and there’s more coming in. They’ll be there til Friday looks like

  45. I watch a lineman’s videos on YouTube and the work they do is awesome, can’t appreciate them more.

  46. I wish I wasn’t so afraid of electricity. My buddy is a linesman in Long Island. I live in mass and he offered me to move in rent free to do the school and training with him. I only said no because it’s one of my biggest fears but the money he brings in is actually insane..

  47. I work for a company that indirectly supports utility companies. At our meeting this morning they mentioned that something like 40,000 utility workers were being sent out to Florida from 30+ different states in the U.S.

  48. One of the most amazing things I witnessed after a storm was all the power trucks from surrounding states up and down the streets fixing our lines on my way into work. They had come from one, two, three states away and were all well into their workday by 7AM fixing the mess around my town while I left to get back to work. I hope they are paid really well…

  49. You think we'd start working on developing new ways of doing infrastructure that could withstand disasters that repeat and repeat.

  50. What’s going to happen this if this staging area gets flooded or if debris blown by the wind damages a bunch of these trucks?

  51. Then they're screwed. They're banking on the staging area being outside of the impact zone and that the storm won't damage too much of Florida so the roads are still usable.

  52. Then they get to climb. We have to be able to do the work with or without trucks. Obviously faster with trucks, but for those areas that aren't accessible, we do it on hooks.

  53. This has already been addressed by multiple other commenters under this post but yes most likely they are outside of the expected path of the hurricane. Given that it is projected to go over the peninsula; somewhere in south/southwest Georgia, east Alabama, or even the north part of the Florida panhandle are all far enough away to only see light tropical storm conditions while still being an easy days drive from the area that is gonna get hit hard.

  54. We do. When the last big one hit our company joined with lots of others went down for months. It's more complicated because we can't drive there but the crews still went.

  55. I've done this twice for Irma and Mathew. It was interesting and this is a small amount of the actual amount of trucks headed to Florida.

  56. This may be a dumb question. What if the hurricane hits that spot and takes out all of those trucks?

  57. You’d think with that amount of trucks they’d combine them together into one gigantic, ubertruck that stands hundreds of feet tall and is able to reach across the state

  58. I’ve seen convoys headed back from hurricanes. It’s quite impressive. I also know guys that worked the storms and it’s the best money and memories they’ve made.

  59. Man I wish my utility was sending a few crews down there. You could easily make 20k+ in 2 weeks. Hard work yes, but its fun work. Best damn job in the world.

  60. Just heard they have 33,000 trucks from 31 states ready to help repair electrical issues as soon as winds get under 35 mph, Americans 🇺🇸 helping Americans

  61. I can tell you my power went off (in Clearwater) this morning. Service was restored in 25 minutes. That's a first, good job guys and thank you!!

  62. Pics like this always get to me. THIS is what America is about. Fuck both sides pitting you against the other, and the middle that has their thumb up their ass.

  63. Followed by the thousands of scamming contractors that’ll come and rip off people by charging them money up front to repair their houses and then never come back. Storms like these are a conman’s wet dream.

  64. Got a buddy who’s a linesman in Tampa. They’re ready as soon as they give the green light that it’s safe to start working.

  65. Man seeing stuff like this is so inspiring to me. People from all over getting together to help each other through a natural disaster (albeit mostly for that big money). I know a lot of those guys are bonding like soldiers about to go to war, all fellow tradesmen ready to make their living. So cool.

  66. I wish I could buy them all a round of beer. Gracious thank you for the long days ahead. Stay safe. We need you all.

  67. lets put all our our repair trucks in one spot so if the storm hits this parking lot we super fucked.

  68. It’s a satisfying feeling knowing you are going in as everyone is leaving. I have been in fires bringing up telecom and after hurricanes to restore service to cell towers. Glad someone recognizes the effort utility puts in to society.

  69. I work for the scheduling department for different repair stores and people was scheduling appointments ahead of time even before receiving any damage as crazy!

  70. I am in Orlando riding out the hurricane. These trucks are the most welcomed sight. It's not a matter of if we lose power; it is when and for how long. Bless all you and your triple time is well deserved.

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