Alabama power companies assisting hurricane-torn Louisiana

Alabama utilities crews rolled out to help Louisiana with hurricane damage.
Alabama utilities crews rolled out to help Louisiana with hurricane damage.(Source: WSFA 12 News)
Updated: Aug. 27, 2020 at 6:19 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - As the old phrase goes, “Go west, young man.” That’s what hundreds of power company linemen and support personnel did Thursday morning to hurricane-torn western Louisiana and perhaps east Texas.

It is not a job for the faint-hearted.

The hours are long, days filled being away from family, such as the case of Blake Garrett of Troy Utilities.

“You’re dealing with a lot of flooding,” said Garrett.

Garrett left for Vinton, Louisiana, Wednesday morning.

“Leaving my daughter. No doubt. She’s 11 years old. She doesn’t understand why daddy’s gotta leave,” said Garrett.

And once you’re up on the pole, there is no margin for error. It takes total concentration in the midst of destruction and anxious survivors, not to mention handling all that high power voltage

“From what I understand there’s probably not any power there. Out of electricity for a few days, definitely not fun,” Garrett said.

Garrett was by far not alone.

Alabama Power rolled out 350 linemen and support personnel from all parts of the state.

“Whenever we send storm teams there’s a world of logistics support that’s needed, engineering support that’s needed,” said Alabama Power southern division area manager Mike Jordan.

All told, close to 400 employees from various power companies are either in Louisiana now or packing up, a number that could change in the coming days depending on what all needs to be done.

“What we may have planned for yesterday becomes a different plan today,” said Jordan.

People like Garrett could be gone for two weeks. They’ve been there, done that, and the road to restoration never gets any easier.

In addition to Alabama Power and Troy Utilities, a crew from Tuskegee Utilities has also joined the team in Louisiana to assist.

Copyright 2020 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.