LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) -- Lincoln Electric System crews are coming home after being deployed to help Florida public power utilities with power restoration efforts due to Hurricane Irma.
Fourteen LES employees with nine vehicles reported to Tallahassee, Florida. They directly coordinated preparation and response efforts with their state governments and local officials.
LES crews deployed at 7 a.m. on Saturday, September 9, and the teams were joined by fellow Nebraska public power utilities Loup Power District and City of Grand Island Utilities to provide mutual aid.
LES night service technician Brent Foxhoven spoke to 1011 News the night before heading back on September 18th. He shared drone footage of what LES did while staying in Ocala, Florida. Foxhoven has been working for LES for nearly seven years. He says he's never seen anything like this, but what really blew him away was how grateful everyone was to get their power back. "So many people were telling us thank you that we were having a hard time working. We were like, 'Stop talking to us, we need to work.'"
Foxhoven says some of the site took more than one day to fix and it was hard telling people who had already gone days without power that they would have to spend another night in the dark. "People are out there watching, seeing what you're doing and they're asking if it's going to be tonight and stuff. Sometimes we have to tell them, 'Sorry, it's not going to be today.' But they've been really appreciative and everyone down here has been really great."
LES expects to be back in Nebraska by the weekend.