Thursday, April 3, 2014
Recent winter weather has affected all of us in different ways, from school closings to unsafe driving conditions, but we must remember the men and women who helped keep us all safe. Agencies such as the Red Cross, Salvation Army, National Guard and the State Emergency Operations Center provided life-saving assistance. And we can't forget about the people who helped keep our lights on - local linemen.
The February ice storm alone caused nearly 350,000 power outages in South Carolina. The Emergency Management Division estimated that this storm created over a million cubic yards of debris throughout the state. The SC Department of Public Safety reported 159 down power lines in roadways. It was the linemen, among many other emergency workers, that were there to clear this debris, fix these power lines, and restore our power.
In my city of Kingstree we experienced massive power outages, and the linemen from Duke Energy worked day and night until our community had power again.
As a fellow South Carolinian, I applaud US Representative Mulvaney for proposing the bill that designated today, March 31, as a National Linemen Appreciation Day.
While the rest of us stay put during storms, that's when linemen go to work. They work around the clock until we have power so that we can go back to school, keep running our businesses and continue living life with the lights on. In honor of the inaugural National Linemen Appreciation Day, the next time you see one of these men or women, please join me in thanking them for their tireless work to maintain and restore our power.
I hope that we do not experience another winter like this one, but if we do, I'm glad we have dedicated linemen ready to turn the lights back on.