We don’t have all the details and personnel are still in the field. But we’re told that graduates from Southside Virginia, Mountain Empire, and Wytheville Community Colleges are among the army of volunteer power line workers who responded after Hurricane Ida tore a path of destruction across the Gulf Coast and parts of the Mid-Atlantic and northeast. More than one million customers were left without power in Louisiana alone.
SVCC power line grads Bayden Bishop, Jackson Queen and Blake Gravitt (on left) have been on assignment restoring power in the Bayou State. They work for Lee Electrical Construction LLC of Aberdeen, North Carolina, one of many companies that have been called in to help.
“When you are a lineman, you watch the weather forecasts and keep your bags packed,” said Queen. “Many families here in Louisiana have already been without power for days and may be without power for weeks. We have to work long hours at times but we know the importance of what we do.”
Queen added, “We’ve already had people come up to us here in Baton Rouge and thank us personally, that appreciation makes the time and effort we put in each day worthwhile.”
Jason Lee, Lee’s chief operating officer, said, “Hurricane Ida caused catastrophic damage to many of our customers in the gulf. When events like this happen, these same customers rely on Lee Electrical Construction and our team to provide a skilled and safe workforce that can respond very quickly. These guys [Bayden, Jackson, and Blake] answered that call. It is because of individuals such as these three that we are able to continually provide reliable restoration services to affected areas.”
Meanwhile, the workforce coordinator at Mountain Empire Community College reports that the following MECC power line worker grad have also been on storm relief duty following the hurricane: Cory Hensly, Brock Dishner, Anthony Jesse, Holton Carter, Preston Fleming, Logan Bolling, Brad Dotson, and Mathew Hardin.
A spokesman at Wytheville Community College says WCC power line grads are on the job restoring power after Hurricane Ida, but he was not able to offer details.
Learn more about SVCC’s Hurricane Ida response here.
Learn more about MECC’s power line worker program here.
A power line worker training program is also currently offered at Wytheville Community college.