Florida’s heat is the main enemy for Long Island utility workers restoring power near Tampa, where the wildlife — at least so far — has been elusive and locals exceptionally grateful.
“Even some of them we’ve come across who haven’t had power for almost a week now, nobody’s been cross with us,” Michael McLaughlin, a PSEG Long Island supervisor from the Riverhead yard, said by telephone.
After all, his crew reached Florida on Thursday after driving 1,200 miles in three days to aid people whose homes and businesses were hammered by Hurricane Irma last week.
“They keep coming up to us, offering us water, offering us bag lunches, and [people] were giving us the thumbs up as we were driving down, just thanking us for doing what we do,” said Bill Bousson, a foreman from the Bridgehampton yard.
This PSEG crew is among the more than 460 employees and contractors the firm sent to help Florida utilities.
The Tampa utility they are assisting has the same kinds of systems as PSEG. So much of the work — clearing trees and other debris from the lines and setting poles — is highly familiar.
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