Maritimes comes to Florida’s aid in the wake of Hurricane Irma
Hundreds of power workers from across the Maritimes are now in Florida helping to restore service to millions of residents.
They travelled throughout the day and night to reach the Floridians left in the dark after Hurricane Irma.
“Our heart goes out to the people that are there but certainly for the linemen, it’s a passion of theirs,” said Mark Keenan, Senior Power Manager for K-Line Construction from New Brunswick.
Crews here in St. Petersburg, Fla. are facing long hours and working in intense heat to restore service to one community at a time.
With the number of people without power estimated to be in the millions, it’s a monumental task
The workers may not get to see their families for weeks but say they’re being welcomed with open and appreciative arms.
“The utilities here have done a magnificent job to organize the coordination for the crews and accommodations and all those kinds of things,” said Keenan.
Things are not going as smoothly on the tiny island of St Barthélemy, or St. Barts, located about 240 kilometres east of Puerto Rico.
Almost the entire island is without power.
Chris MacDonald, originally from Moncton, N.B., is struggling to cope with the devastation all around him.
“There is cars completely flipped upside down stacked on top of others ones,” he said.
“There is one thrown into a grave yard on top of some tombstones.”
Given the limited resources for power restoration on the remote island, he expects to be without power for up to a month.
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MacDonald moved to St. Barts two weeks ago to work for a car rental company.
He still suffers from PTSD after getting trapped on the highway trying to escape from the Fort McMurray fire in 2015
“I am kind of up and down as the day goes on just picking up debris, on debris, on debris,” he said.
Now, faced with the aftermath of a second natural disaster, MacDonald says he is still trying to imagine what life will be like for weeks without electricity.
“We are trying to stay positive and trying to make the best of it without getting too overwhelmed,” he said.
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