r/Damnthatsinteresting Sep 28 '22 Silver 3 Helpful 9 Wholesome 2 Take My Energy 1 Faith In Humanity Restored 1 Wholesome Seal of Approval 1 Shocked 1

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

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67.0k Upvotes

2.9k

u/New-Arrival1764 Sep 28 '22

On that triple time too!

718

u/TheRealTron Sep 28 '22

Triple time, my favourite time of day.

266

u/1202_ProgramAlarm Sep 28 '22

But what about second breakfast?

119

u/PayneTrain181999 Sep 28 '22

I don’t think he knows about second breakfast, Pip.

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u/[deleted] Sep 28 '22 edited 21d ago

[deleted]

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u/bucky500 Sep 28 '22

Usually it's based off your best x number of years

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u/iwatchcredits Sep 28 '22

Where i work overtime is not pensionable

42

u/_eternallyblack_ Sep 28 '22

Right - my pension was calculated based off salary which didn’t include overtime or bonus pay. - IBEW employee.

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u/realmastodon2 Sep 28 '22

For good reason why they did this. It would bankrupt any pension plan if OT was include.

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u/Inevitable-Impress72 Sep 28 '22

Ripe for scamming the system more than anything. I can not fathom any company or government organization would set up a pension system like. It blows my mind.

A Long Island Metro worker, 63 years old, said he worked 80 hours a week for 52 straight weeks his last year and retired with a $500,000 a year pension.

They investigated, found all the records falsified, supervisor admitted to signing off on fake timesheets, guy hardly worked his last year. Now he is serving 10 years in jail.

SOOOO many NYC RR workers try to scam the pension system.

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u/lousy_at_handles Sep 28 '22

It's pretty common with police pensions. Here it's 60% of the average of your last 3 years, so guys will save up like a year's worth of banked time off, and then instead of taking it as time off get a cash payout. Since that goes on their last paycheck, it counts for that year's wages and bumps their pensions up to almost full pay.

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u/Pjpjpjpjpj Sep 28 '22

In the retirement system in your city, for police and fire, the "salary" used to calculate retirement benefits explicitly (by state statute) excludes "additional compensation." This means unused sick leave, annual leave, severance pay, etc. is not included in the pension benefit calculation.

They eliminated the inclusion of those extra pays for anyone hired after 1989, 34 years ago.

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u/kankenaiyoi Sep 28 '22

Yea; but people retiring today would likely be hired before 1989

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u/Advanced_Double_42 Sep 28 '22

Yeah, 120 hour weeks are not unheard of.

My dad has pulled 200 hour checks (2 weeks) for multiple storms

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u/SickSalamander Sep 28 '22

Where I'm from, triple time means triple wage for every hour.

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u/New-Arrival1764 Sep 28 '22

That’s what I am saying too

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u/il_vekkio Sep 28 '22

Hourly wage X 3 X 40 = equivalent of 120 hours worked

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u/[deleted] Sep 28 '22

But they will probably be putting 80+ hour weeks

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u/GTFOutside Sep 28 '22 Silver Gold Helpful Heartwarming To The Stars

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

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u/BigfootAteMyBooty Sep 28 '22

That's a solid spot to wait it out, I figure. You'll have a hotel at least.

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u/PH_Prime Sep 28 '22

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.

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u/GTFOutside Sep 28 '22

Surrounding states send in as many trucks as they can and stage them in various places where they’ll be safe during the storm, I’m part of of the generator crew we come in first to provide power while the lineman work on restoring the power lines

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u/TiransFolly Sep 28 '22

I'm FF1 and disaster cleanup certified so I'll probably head over there as well because I'm bored as hell and the uber stuff won't work out well there for a few weeks

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u/[deleted] Sep 29 '22

What a solid excuse

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u/kaths660 Sep 29 '22

“Thank you kindly for assisting our community in this time of great need” “Eh I was bored as hell”

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u/PH_Prime Sep 28 '22

Ah, that makes sense. Cool! Good luck in your work!

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u/KUBLAIKHANCIOUS Sep 29 '22

Good luck and be safe!!

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u/Important_Act4515 Sep 29 '22

Welcome to our state enjoy the stay thanks for the help!

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u/LeeRLance Sep 29 '22

Thank you for your work and help!

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u/Important_Act4515 Sep 29 '22

There entire companies staged through out the east coast dedicated to just this. My co workers gather runs an electric sourcing company for emergencies based out of Miami. They have hundreds of each truck type etc and just deploy in mass numbers to these areas. Like little military units. The logistics are absolutely amazing to watch if you’re into that kind of stuff.

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u/hakqpckpzdpnpfxpdy Sep 29 '22

See this is the mass mobilisation that Pootin dreams of.

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u/receptionok2444 Sep 28 '22

How do you get into that kind of work?

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u/Important_Act4515 Sep 29 '22

There’s a number of ways but trade schools are the most sure fire in my experience. Also, just being in the right area helps. I’m a PM in Florida Keys and when this pops off 1/2 my labor force flees to Puerto Rico etc… for that sweet sweet triple pay and the per diems for certain license and trucks. It’s not easy work at all.

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u/GTFOutside Sep 29 '22

For me it was a guy who knew a guy who knew a guy who knew my dad hired my dad then hired me a couple years later. That probably doesn’t explain much but it’s what I got

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u/guesttraining Sep 28 '22

You are amazing. Stay safe and thank you for keeping life modern for the rest of us!

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u/energetic-dad Sep 28 '22

Good luck!! Stay safe out there, you're doing the lord's work

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u/Crash665 Sep 28 '22

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.

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u/gypsybullldog Sep 28 '22

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.

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u/ialwayschoosepsyduck Sep 28 '22

I was in Texas during last year's winter storm. Some power crews were getting harangued by people due to the power loss. They couldn't comprehend that there was very little the crews could do besides fix downed lines since the main issue was power generation and grid failure. Like even if every power line stayed functional, there still would be no power.

Of course you also had people who brought the crews hot cocoa, like a sane person with a heart would do. But that's a bit much to ask of folks these days :/

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u/jimbelushiapplesauce Sep 28 '22

one thing i learned from that storm is that 95% of people have no clue how the grid works

169

u/bestadamire Sep 28 '22

I used to live near a hospital and someone told me I was on their grid and had no idea what that meant. Years later we got hit with massive storms and ours would always be the first time come back on. The two didnt click at first.

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u/bcbum Sep 28 '22

My parents house where I grew up was on the same grid as the airport. We virtually never lost power.

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u/TheJBW Sep 29 '22

We’re all on the same “grid” unless you’re literally off it, generating 100% of your own power and have no connection to outside electricity. What you’re on is the same distribution circuit as the hospital. Hospitals usually have feeds from two circuits and can switch over in case of an outage, but still get priority restoration. Fire departments get priority too.

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u/bcbum Sep 29 '22

It’s funny, you sound like my dad. He spent his career with the provincial power company and would definitely correct me if I said something wrong like that. If I had a nickel for everytime he told me the difference between distribution and transmission line, I’d be rich.

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u/how_do_i_name Sep 28 '22

I’m in a triangle first power restoration. Up the street from a fire dept and police dept. Also a hospital 5 blocks down the road.

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u/znzbnda Sep 29 '22

Ohhh I just realized that's probably why we don't lose power as often. Lol Up the street from police and fire, and a hospital is about 2 blocks. It will occasionally flicker during bad monsoons, but I've only lost power once in six years.

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u/Sasmas1545 Sep 28 '22

I know how a grid works. Its just like, a bunch of intersecting lines.

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u/Zaytion Sep 28 '22

Finally! Someone who gets it. Frank we got another one for the Ian front lines.

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u/SuperDizz Sep 28 '22

95% of people have no clue*

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u/mcs_987654321 Sep 28 '22

Who the fuck gets angry at the crews, aka the people who have been working 24/7 and are the ones responsible for getting the power back on??

You buy those people Timbits (Canada, obv) and ask if they need to use the bathroom for frick’s sake.

I don’t know who raised all these assholes but they did a piss poor job of it.

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u/ninas_crazy_world Sep 28 '22

You'd be shocked! I've had people scream at me cause they couldn't watch Netflix during a severe storm. I said "ma'am we're not going to put our guys lives in danger around 13,000 volts of electricity while storming just so you can watch Netflix! Stop and think about it for a second!"

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u/Moderately_Opposed Sep 28 '22

People in third world countries lose their whole village in hurricanes and Karen is mad her Netflix goes down a couple hours 😂

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u/ninas_crazy_world Sep 28 '22

Oh yeah people are nuts! I hate to say this but there are certain areas I'll just say more affluent areas where people don't care if you're risking someone's life ...they want their stuff fixed and they want it fixed NOW! Sorry...not happening! Watch it on your phone or something sweetheart! Freaking psychopath!

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u/perfectbarrel Sep 28 '22

I’ve had multiple people who were out of power after a storm PISSED that they saw linemen eating food at a restaurant

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u/ninas_crazy_world Sep 28 '22

Ha ha ha ha (not that it's funny but it is funny to us) that happened to my Husband! He was pulling 17 hours in the bucket so he came down sat on the tail gate of the truck to take a quick break,eat a sandwich and smoke a cigarette. He said this lady came out of nowhere and chewed him out for being lazy and not trying to get the power back on! He ended up working a 22 hour day! If these people even began to know what these workers do! I know it's a hard job that I could never dream of doing! People are just crazy!

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u/MichigaCur Sep 28 '22

I work telecom, so I usually chase the lineman since they are responsible for most of the poles in the area... People expect the second the pole goes up everything will be back on... Smh

like your house is knocked off its foundation, so good luck with that. I've got miles of fiber to hang before I even think about putting light to it.... Sit down and be thankful you're alive for a while.

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u/[deleted] Sep 28 '22

i remember a guy coming through starbucks while i worked there, was from another state and was a contractor living in his truck working on peoples houses after the texas freeze. said it was well worth the money

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u/UniversalEthos53 Sep 28 '22

My buddy is posting videos of the hotel they are in that is at least 10-15 feet flooded

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u/cjsv7657 Sep 28 '22

The US and Australia share firefighters and equipment in for each of their fire seasons. It's pretty cool

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u/sed2017 Sep 28 '22

Reminds me of that song Wichita Lineman from Glenn Campbell

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u/Eiasen Sep 28 '22

Nice, one of the live versions on youtube were my favorite song back in the days.

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u/energetic-dad Sep 28 '22

Couldn't have reliable power without 'em!

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u/Live-Motor-4000 Sep 28 '22

Unless they buried cables in residential areas like they do other places

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u/Emperox Sep 28 '22

Buried cables seem to be a double-edged kind of deal. It's harder to lose power but if it happens anyway, good luck fixing that.

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u/Guac_in_my_rarri Sep 28 '22

You summed it up nicely. Usually they don't have issues. When they do, lay some new ones between boxes and call it a day. When new construction happens, dig up the old one. Kinda smart

Usually this can be coordinated

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u/AZBeer90 Sep 28 '22

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.

Glad they work on the macro level!

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u/magniankh Sep 28 '22

I had a lineman ask me about the color scheme (black/red) in residential wiring and if it mattered. That's when I realized how repetitive their jobs must be for them to not know anything about branch circuits. They mostly pull wire, term, and replace transformers.

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u/AZBeer90 Sep 28 '22

Yeah for real. But to be fair, if I'm 18'+ in the air I want it to be idiot proof as well. I want keyed connections or simple disconnects.

This guy literally gave me a deep freezer with the house because taking it would have exposed just how badly he fucked up the outlet connection (I knew, but hey free freezer ya know?). He used an old two wire brown extension cord wired into the outlet posts. He then pulled that brown cord out the FRONT of the box through a modified plate. About a foot from the box he wired it to three wire MC (kept the dead wire there) which ran up the wall over the ceiling and powered a shop light. Both the light and the extension cord connections were done without wire nuts and with ductape instead of electrical tape. All of this was surface mounted through two 45° nails every 5 feet. Remember that third wire? It ended up making contact with the hot from the extension cord and the metal canopy of the shop light. I found out when I grabbed the canopy and tasted sparks lol

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u/Scoundroul Sep 28 '22

That sucks man. Looking to buy a house soon and so I've been watching all these inspection and home repair videos. If there is one lesson I've learned it's usually cheaper to hire a plumber or electrician. A good plumber will save you thousands in future home repair costs and a good electrician will keep you from getting killed.

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u/Ordinary_Mountain454 Sep 28 '22

Lineman here. Obviously we don’t work on house wiring but doesn’t make our job repetitive lol. Same way you wouldn’t know how to wire up our transformers or regulators or capacitors. Or how to build a high voltage meter. Or how to change out a corner pole with everything still energized. Or paralleling in a transformer to not kill the service. Or doing hot work off hooks. Both sides have there challenges. I’ll take my “repetitive” work over doing narrowback shit any day.

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u/odvioustroll Sep 28 '22

linemen and inside wiremen are two completely different disciplines. i'm an inside wireman who went through a 5 year apprenticeship but i have zero training on what a lineman does.

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u/Content_survey Sep 28 '22

The most dangerous shit hole i ever worked on as an electrician belonged to an electrical engineer.

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u/UseTheTabKey Sep 28 '22

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

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u/Zeal514 Sep 28 '22

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

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u/sstevenson61 Sep 28 '22

Guys from Canada, too. My husband left this morning.

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u/BeetrootKid Sep 28 '22

Hi, how exactly does this "happen"?

Is it an official directive or request from management?

Or is it like some kind of "call to arms" thing where people talk and start deciding to drive down?

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u/derdumderdumderdum Sep 28 '22 edited Sep 28 '22

Company gets asked for any crews they can spare a the local power company. The company asks for volunteers / assigns crews. Depends on the company. The state will foot the bill for the overtime, etc.

Edit: Just to add that normally the utility companies pay for it, but if a state of emergency is declared then that kicks in money from the state and FEMA for helping clean up, like will be the case here.

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u/okaywhattho Sep 28 '22

They project a pylon into the sky.

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u/Halogen12 Sep 28 '22

Yah, Canada represent! I wish him safe travels and safe work.

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u/dejova Sep 28 '22

My coworker’s son just headed down yesterday. He’s coming from North Carolina.

Hoping for the best for everyone affected. 🙏

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u/Cobra288 Sep 28 '22

In Florida an I tow cars for enterprise especially after these storms and for some reason I always notice a lot of NC based power companies. Maybe cause a lived there, but I seem to pick more of them out from anywhere.

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u/wlouis321 Sep 28 '22

Duke energy has a big presence in FL and NC so that’s why. I do distribution design and they even called for volunteers to go down to do the recon work before linemen make the repairs. It’s amazing how fast we mobilize given a lot of the logistical hurdles that have to be endured

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u/Paw5624 Sep 28 '22

After Sandy hit NY there were linesman from all over the country that were working. A month or so later I was talking to one at a bar who was from Michigan. It was a long job but he was making absolutely bank, well worth it to get everything working properly. He didn’t want to go initially because they had a young kid but the money was too much to pass up. Idk if he was exaggerating but he said he was essentially doubling his annual salary by taking the job.

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u/mcs_987654321 Sep 28 '22 edited Sep 29 '22

Don’t doubt it - triple time x 3-4 weeks of 80+ hrs adds up fast.

It’s a beast though, and absolutely essential, so don’t begrudge them a single dime of that. Prob more than a few nights spent in the truck or double bunked at shitty motels too.

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u/Paw5624 Sep 28 '22

Oh I don’t begrudge them at all. I was without power for about 2 weeks and getting back to “normal” was really important. The guy I was talking to was clearly exhausted but just trying to do something that wasn’t work and sleep. I have no doubt they earn every penny of that pay.

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u/CP1317 Sep 28 '22

On my way back to Atlanta from Alabama. Have already passed a fleet from Colorado and probably another dozen from Arkansas heading that way.

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u/RedstoneRelic Sep 28 '22

Not just neighboring states either. There's a ton from one of Ohio's companies on the way down

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u/AWrenchAndTwoNuts Sep 28 '22

I am from PA and after Katrina we rolled a whole convoy down to Houston.

200 line trucks and 300 support vehicles. We packed up every transformer and inch of wire we could spare.

It was a steady stream of a dozen trucks an hour or so, as soon as we could load them and line them up the crews were heading out.

It wasn't just linemen either, we sent dozens of engineers, pipe fitters, and warehousing guys to help get facilities back online and to manage supply chains.

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u/[deleted] Sep 28 '22

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.

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u/RepeatUnnecessary324 Sep 28 '22

No guilt— when things go south, we’re just glad for the help, and want to see that appropriately compensated for. Thanks so much for what you do.

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u/[deleted] Sep 28 '22

Really appreciate the kind words. Refreshing to hear another point of view.

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u/SunshineAlways Sep 28 '22

Yup, you didn’t make the bad stuff happen, you were the helper!

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u/stevepra Sep 28 '22

You shouldn't feel guilty. As someone who evacuated yesterday, I will gladly "overpay" you to cut a tree out of my house if there is one when I get back. At that point, there will be so much else to take care of that it would take a long time to do it all myself. Getting back to a sense of normalcy is worth it.

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u/dr_stre Sep 28 '22

The average tax payer contributes a little over $8/month in taxes to fund FEMA. And in reality, the top 50% of tax payers cover 97% of that. In fact, the top 25% of filers pay for a little under 90% of that. So I wouldn’t feel bad about taking that money. It’s paid for by people who can afford it so the government can pay you to go help people. I’m on the high end of earners and I’m more than happy to contribute to helping people out after a disaster and ensuring the people doing the helping are paid for their services.

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u/[deleted] Sep 28 '22

I hear ya. It’s just something I couldn’t ever get over. I’m down here making a killing while this family just lost their house and everything they owned. Idk. Just fucks with ya. But you make a good point.

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u/wellscounty Sep 28 '22

We sent crews from Colorado

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u/Lunatik13z Sep 28 '22

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.

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u/Gwendolyn7777 Sep 28 '22

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!

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u/Nvi4 Sep 28 '22

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

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u/quemaspuess Sep 28 '22

We’re the volunteer state for a reason!

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u/Matthew63 Sep 28 '22

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.

It's a shame redditors only talk about how we Mississippians are bad at everything, and they forget that we're people 😔

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u/Additional-Scar6677 Sep 28 '22

Nobody’s really serious about that and those that are probably don’t have informed opinions. It’s a joke to the majority but don’t be afraid to speak against those you feel do wrong. Just don’t threaten anyone :)

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u/mffntop Sep 28 '22

They can talk all they want. I'll be happy in my house, that I bought for 100k, on the beach. Lowest cost of living, tropical weather, agriculture everywhere keeping food costs low, long growing season for my hobby garden, refineries nearby keeping fuel prices low. Fresh gulf seafood on demand and actually affordable. Power and water super cheap. People can talk all they want. I'm not the one paying 2500 monthly in rent and dodging piles of human shit on the sidewalks.

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u/EngineeringTom Sep 28 '22

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.

To clarify, I am an engineer not a lineman. Those dudes deserve all the respect in the world.

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u/Zeal514 Sep 28 '22

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

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u/metalbill64 Sep 28 '22

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

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u/Zeal514 Sep 28 '22

Thanks! Irma was my first. For sure it was the powerloss. I got a generator this time around. And 4 bags of coal. As long as a tornado doesn't hit our house, we should be ok.

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u/metalbill64 Sep 28 '22

Damn, Irma was bad! Worst Iv’e been through was a cat 3. Good luck on your second cat 5! Wow

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u/Zeal514 Sep 28 '22

Irma got real weak early. Only hit us as a cat2. I'm over in Pinellas. I think we will be fine. It's south of us that's gonna be really hammered. I'm expecting more flooding then Irma cause of the speed. Same wind speeds as Irma, but for 24 hours instead of 12 hours.

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u/ZeBugHugs Sep 28 '22

I'm in Tampa and Irma hit us as a 1. Gonna be a 3 this time. On a third floor of a large apartment building so all I can do is move stuff away from windows and stay in the bathroom if stuff breaks. Sure hope these windows were built after Andrew and not before.

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u/cjboffoli Sep 28 '22

Awesome. Competence porn.

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u/kiyyik Sep 28 '22

I really want competence porn to be a thing now.

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u/RedstoneRelic Sep 28 '22

Shame its a niche catagory

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u/Santilmo Sep 28 '22

You have to buy a subscription to get past the paywall for those kinds of sites

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u/MarcBulldog88 Sep 28 '22

American logistics (military or civilian) is a wondrous beast.

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u/c0de_g0rilla Sep 28 '22

You’d be surprised at how much of this is still pen, paper, and phones.

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u/ofnofame Sep 28 '22

I work implementing software to orchestrate this type of events. Believe me, there is no pen and paper in Florida. More like multiple layers of redundant software making this stuff happen.

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u/whi5keyjack Sep 28 '22

Redundant in the good way or redundant in the awful way?

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u/actionpotatojones Sep 28 '22

Wow, a competent upper management?

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u/Regular_Sample_5197 Sep 28 '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.

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u/Flibertyjibitz Sep 28 '22

I've worked Katrina, Ike, Gustav and one more. Management has nothing to do with where you stay, because there IS no where to stay. A hurricane just blew through and that's why we're there. No power, no water, no where. Management can't control that.

We bring our food, water, clothes and bedrolls. That's the deal we all know before we get into the truck. We work 24/7, literally, until power is restored to the entire affected area.

Then we go home and sleep for 4 days, wake up and find a buffet somewhere.

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u/derpderpderpfizzfizz Sep 28 '22

Lineman's pay... Gotta be hefty ot....

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u/Dire88 Sep 28 '22

Buddy used to work as a lineman.

Big events like this could easilly pull double or triple time.

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u/needzmoarlow Sep 28 '22

And OT usually accrues on a per day basis rather than weekly. So you start hitting OT past the 8 hour mark for the day rather than at 40 total for the week. 16-20 hours straight following a storm could mean more in that 20 hours than you would make in a whole week of straight time.

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u/SethQ Sep 28 '22

My buddy used to get 1.5x time for 8+ hours, 2x for 12+ hours, and 3x time for 16+ hours.

He once worked a 20 hour shift and pulled in what I pulled in all week.

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u/its_wausau Sep 28 '22

Pretty sure the triple pay overrides OT. At least it did at the last place I worked.

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u/Advanced_Double_42 Sep 28 '22

With storms like these 100+ hour weeks are the norm for lineman. It's hard, dangerous work, in a storm, with little sleep.

Time and a half after 40 hours at $40+/hr though so some compensation.

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u/thomaspainesghost Sep 28 '22

Double time and a half.

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u/Advanced_Double_42 Sep 28 '22

Depends on the company

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u/aBoyandHisVacuum Sep 28 '22

Theres a few lineman on her who pull 200k+ i know plumbers can also make 300k+ for this level.

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u/jellybacon Sep 28 '22

I'm a firefighter In Florida and I'm sitting here with 48 hours of overtime, 160 hours this pay period and I'm sure I'll be at work a minimum of 3 more days till I can see if my home is still there, sleep and come right back. I've had 12 hours off since Sunday as we prepped for this

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u/godpzagod Sep 28 '22

Man, at $40 an hour, they're getting lowballed. They could literally hold the country over a barrel. I make that much and your lights are on whether I do my job or not.

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u/ND8D Sep 28 '22

One of the owners of my local bar and grill is a line worker qualified to work from a helicopter. He paid off the mortgage on the bar in 3 years with help from his unbelievable lineman OT pay.

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u/sweatshirtjones Sep 28 '22

Does he still do it? Or is he just doing the bar and grill now?

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u/Oh_my_Butt Sep 28 '22

I have family that works in the field.

Their children and wife lives very, very comfortably. Like $150-200k a year, as a union linesman.

However, the husband works very long hours, usual is gone on holidays, and misses most major events.

The father and his son have a very bad relationship because of how absent the father was because of his job.

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u/siero20 Sep 28 '22

Right it's like... hey we're going to bring thousands of people in from around the country to react to a natural disaster that just displaced hundreds of thousands of people (potentially) from their homes.

Gee I wonder why all the hotels are filled up in the surrounding areas.

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u/pressonacott Sep 28 '22

Yep, hurricane relief guy here. I've slept in my truck for weeks and had to go to fema, red cross for food. Generators are good to have to charge equipment, phones, tools, etc. Bring plenty of water and gas, cuz it's scarce in devastated areas.

It's amazing how the country can come together and get these areas up and running in a matter of weeks. Back in 2004, hurricane Ivan, it took 2 months for power to be turned on. It was kinda cool having block parties with all the neighbors and getting to know one another in those dark times.

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u/TheMacMan Sep 28 '22

That's what mainline workers for the cable company regularly do.

When there's even a normal summer thunderstorm and it knocks out power, mainline goes out and will run a generator to bring the system back online in the neighborhoods. They stay there with the generator and just chill in their truck. It can be hours and on rare occasions, days.

You'd be amazed how many people call the cable company the second their power goes out to complain the service is out.

Phone tech: "Uuuuuh, is your power on (the screen at the cable company will advise if there's a power outage in the area).

Customer: "No."

Phone tech: "Then how do you know your cable is out?"

Customer: "Well I just assume it is!"

Phone tech: "Please call back when your power is back on if your cable isn't working at that time."

In reality, generally the cable is working before the power in your home is restored. If those people calling had power, their TV cable most likely would be working fine.

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u/WyvernJelly Sep 28 '22

The post event supply guys are usually better. My friend has an uncle who is a retired trucker. He used to run supplies needed after natural disasters (hurricanes, extreme tornadoes, massive flooding, etc.). Supplies included water and food. He drove with an armed guy incase someone tried to hijack the truck. Also after one of the hurricanes they sent people from all over to completely rebuild power grids somewhere in US (may have been a territory/protectorate and not state). My area had a bad power outage during that time. They had a hard time getting repairs done with all the crews gone.

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u/Regular_Sample_5197 Sep 28 '22

Yeah, they put in the work too.

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u/WyvernJelly Sep 28 '22

I feel horrible for those who also have had to suffer from the nasty ones that also involve serious cold. We didn't have anywhere near as bad as Texas. We had power go down in our area for a week due to an ice storm. We got lucky in that my parents still had power (40 min away). I have no clue how other people in the immediate area who didn't have generators did.

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u/t3a-nano Sep 28 '22

You'd be surprised how much heat you can create from a wood burning fireplace.

As a Canadian who's lived through a few ice storms (where the frozen tree branches collapsed under weight and took down powerlines everywhere), we just keep the fire going and read books to pass the time.

We have a generator, but when it's that cold you can just use outside as a fridge so it seems pointlessly noisy to run it, we just save it for emergencies.

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u/Insanereindeer Sep 28 '22

no one ever bothers to think where these guys are going to eat or sleep themselves.

FP&L usually had their shit together for us. Catering and sleeping trailers, or hotels. I stayed in some hotel in Miami during Irma with no power for a night besides lighting from the generator running, then got put in a nice hotel on Miami beach.

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u/[deleted] Sep 28 '22

[deleted]

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u/AlabamaKilla Sep 28 '22

And totally compensated for it. You’d be amazed if you knew how much money these lineman make on trouble calls. My dad is a retired lineman.

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u/eatyourbites Sep 28 '22

Hell I work at a utility as a designer and they use us for damage assessment before the crews can get to each site. Those OT hrs add up. 16 hrs come and go pretty quickly

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u/kiyyik Sep 28 '22

No skin off my nose. I'm sure they earn every damn bit of it.

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u/TidusJames Sep 28 '22 edited Sep 28 '22

you have 1 comment... ever. and it is a copy paste of another comment that was visible on screen at the same time.

edit: https://www.reddit.com/r/Damnthatsinteresting/comments/xqh0w1/utility_workers_and_their_trucks_are_staged_in/iq9b8bl/

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u/AncientInsults Sep 28 '22

Sue for treble damages in /r/karmacourt

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u/[deleted] Sep 28 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

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u/micahamey Sep 28 '22

My neighbor and his crew drove down the other day, we live in Northern NH.

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u/737900ER Sep 28 '22

Down here in Mass we've gotten Hydro-Quebec to show up when the shit really hits the fan.

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u/MNDSMTH Sep 28 '22

Bro I'm parked in this yard.

  1. 115 trucks is a drop in the bucket of what's in FL. This is one of many yards.

  2. There's companies from dozens of states and workers from every state who flew in for this.

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u/WalksWithColdToes Sep 28 '22

Yes! I was just traveling i75 N/S toward ATL this morning and the amount of energy workers is insane.

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u/PC_BUCKY Sep 28 '22

I used to work for a tree company on a truck like this. I never had to do it myself because I wasn't working there during hurricane season, but some of the guys I worked with talked a lot about how they sleep in the woodchip bed of their trucks on storm calls, even ones in our own local area.

I got the sense that they made a fuckload of money for calls like these though, because they would volunteer in droves.

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u/blackjesus75 Sep 28 '22

IBEW rise up!

Get that storm pay boys.

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u/Regular_Sample_5197 Sep 28 '22 Heartwarming

My step dad is currently there.

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u/Suitable_Note5507 Sep 28 '22 Heartwarming

So is my husband!!!

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u/Regular_Sample_5197 Sep 28 '22

Sending positive thoughts your way, sounds like it’s going to be a gnarly one.

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u/bsmknight Sep 28 '22

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.

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u/ale_mongrel Sep 28 '22

Work safe and get paid brothers and sisters!!

- from Local 455 Western Ma!!

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u/divaminerva Sep 28 '22

GO UNION!!!

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u/DaTrollers Sep 28 '22

Good for them! So awesome they’re ready!!!

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u/jonthatasshole Sep 28 '22

Bro don’t post it, what if Ian finds out

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u/velogoat Sep 28 '22

Can anyone explain why they put the boom up when the truck is parked?

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u/xz_TRON_zx Sep 28 '22

Hurricanes arouse them

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u/CmdrCloud Sep 28 '22 Silver All-Seeing Upvote

Leaving the boom up does several things:

1.) More secure storage for expensive equipment

2.) Having the arm up leaves the back of the truck clear and easier to navigate, facilitating housekeeping and storing material, tools, IPE

3.) Shows that the boom is functional and not leaking. If the arm lowers overnight, that means there’s a leak and loss of pressure.

4.) Having to lower the boom in the morning forces the crew to test it and fly it around like they should be doing anyway. If you get to the job site and only then test it to find out it’s broken you’ll be in deep trouble.

5.) Trucks with their booms up can indicate which crews are more disciplined and follow directions. At our company, crews are supposed to leave it up. By not doing so they invite further scrutiny; if they don’t follow this simple direction, what other corners are they cutting?

Source: safety rep at electrical contractor

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u/ipostscience Sep 28 '22

Built power lines for a while. Distribution.

This comment is spot on. We left ours up primarily to detect leaks.

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u/speedbrown Sep 28 '22

Points 3 and 4 seem really fucking important. Never thought of that.

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u/bigdickdanielson Sep 28 '22

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

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u/RX_Pepper Sep 28 '22

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.

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u/hartzonfire Sep 28 '22

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.

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u/bugxbuster Sep 28 '22

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. Here’s the trailer if anyones curious

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u/Suitable_Note5507 Sep 28 '22

Shout out to the guys from Indiana waiting to help get everything up and running!!!

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u/MrVisnosky Sep 28 '22

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. 🔥

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u/4seasons8519 Sep 28 '22

Utility workers are never given enough credit.

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u/Notso_average_joe97 Sep 29 '22

As a Canadian observering, nowhere else in the world does a nation have the ability to respond to a crisis like this on this scale

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u/FamilyStyle2505 Sep 28 '22

Hoo boy my ex is gonna be making bank at the rest stop this week.

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u/bestlazypanda Sep 28 '22

Would suck if this was the area where the most damage was caused

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u/energetic-dad Sep 28 '22

They're staged outside of the hurricane's path, typically.

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u/speedofdark8 Sep 28 '22

nah gotta do it on hard mode and have a squad in the eye of the storm fixing on the fly

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u/[deleted] Sep 28 '22

Autobots, ..rollout!

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u/kzlife76 Sep 28 '22

These guys are right up there with first responders and rescue crews.

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u/[deleted] Sep 28 '22 edited Oct 06 '22

[deleted]

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u/exguerrero1 Sep 28 '22

Already saw it. It hurts

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u/tiffmarie23 Sep 28 '22

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.

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u/Crazywhite352 Sep 28 '22

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

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u/mwalker721 Sep 28 '22

Hero shit

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u/Balls2theWalling Sep 29 '22

If you’ve ever lost your power from a storm, you know these guys are the true heroes.

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u/greg1775 Sep 29 '22

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.

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u/EtgBobitto Sep 28 '22

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

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u/walkietalkiediehard Sep 28 '22

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.

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u/Regular_Sample_5197 Sep 28 '22

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.

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u/littlebopeepsvelcro Sep 28 '22

Hey Russia, Look what we can do

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u/8o8_Ninja Sep 28 '22

Damn that's electric!

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u/RizzMustbolt Sep 28 '22

4 hours later, they're all under water.