I wanted to learn more about the status of our electric issues and the effort it takes to get everyone’s power back on after a storm, so I asked Ted Fletcher who runs Vero Electric if I could ride around in his truck and visit some of the problem areas they were addressing. Everyone should get a chance to do this, otherwise, it is hard to understand the depth of the issues, and why a neighbor has electricity and you don’t.
Ted has been with Vero Electric for 37 years, so he has seen most issues, and knows our power network intimately, yet he is not the longest serving Vero Electric employee by at least 10 years. While the whole company had been working long hours in preparation for and after the hurricane, no municipality has enough equipment or manpower to clean up after a storm without supplemental crews from other municipalities and other states. Vero was no different, even though we did not get a direct hit, the high sustained winds did a great deal of damage, many specific locations needing two or three crews for several hours, to repair the break.
We visited two major spots where wind took out the top of a telephone pole, requiring significant tree work, replacing the pole, and restringing all the power lines. We also received specific calls from central dispatch personnel alerting Ted to specific homes that were out when the neighborhood was fine. We tramped behind one house and saw that a limb had detached a fuse, cutting power to two houses, and with a long, long, pole, lots of skill, and ½ an hour of patient maneuvering, Ted replaced the fuse 60’ above his head, and walked back to his truck going on to the next issue, without looking for praise or thanks from those residents he helped.
They start at 5 am, go until 10 pm, and keep doing it until they get us all back up, and we tend to concentrate on what has not been done rather what they have done. They deserve a lot of praise. You can certainly understand that we should doubly thank these men and women as the sale of Vero Electric puts their jobs in jeopardy, yet they are still putting out 1000% to restore our power. Thanks, Ted, thanks for 37 years of it, and thanks for every one of the hours and years the other Vero Electric employees put in on our behalf.