September 13, 2017 7:10 pm

Hydro workers from Belleville heading to Florida to lend a helping hand

They packed up their trucks and have headed south to help turn the lights on in parts of Florida. Linemen from Belleville are in St. Petersburg repairing broken hydro lines while fighting 90-degree weather.


Linemen from Belleville’s TALTREES Power have set up shop in St. Petersburg, Fla. to help with relief efforts in the storm-ravaged state.

Taking in the images of the trail of destruction left behind by Hurricane Irma has shocked people across the globe. Dozens of people killed, homes, businesses, and resorts destroyed. But when a team of Hydro workers from Belleville saw these images they knew what to do.

“It’s just kinda in your bones. When you become a lineman it’s just what you want to do. A lineman just wants to help and restore power,” said Stephen Sine of TALTREES Power.

Linemen with TALTREES Power work in St. Petersburg Florida.

Stephen Sine, TALTREES Power

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They’re working to restore power as about nine-million people are without electricity in Florida and some neighbouring states and they’ve received quite the reception.

“We’re working in a lower income place right now and they’re treating us like kings. It’s great to be a Canadian to be down here and help out the Americans,” said Sine.

READ MORE: Tropical Storm Irma: Toronto Hydro sending crews to Florida to help with recovery efforts

The crew plans to stay for three weeks but if needed, the company will replace the eight workers with fresh faces, as it’s a tough job. Sixteen hours a day, seven days a week in 90-degree weather.

According to the Director of Bussiness Development Arnold Portt, they have their work cut out for them.

“Replacing poles that are broken. Repairing conductors that are broken, the wire that is broken, putting it up in the air. Replacing transformers, reconnecting and getting the power back on,” said Portt.

Since word got out, the company has been inundated with phone calls and emails from across the province, looking to help. Linemen willing to use their holidays just to go south to lend a hand.

“That’s a big part of the whole deal. Being a Canadian and helping out in the U.S.,” said Portt

Linemen with TALTREES Power work in St. Petersburg Florida

And that means working long hours in an environment that they’re not used to.

READ MORE: Hurricane Irma: What we know about the devastation caused by the monster storm

“They say hydrate, hydrate, hydrate and when you think you’ve hydrated enough, hydrate some more,” said Sine.

Meanwhile, Veridian Connections, also located in Belleville, has sent a team of nine linemen and five utility trucks to Atlanta, Ga. to help with restoration efforts.

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