LAKE CHARLES, La. (WSFA) - Imagine yourself working in the stifling heat, hundreds of miles from home with no clear idea when you might be home again.
That’s what hundreds of power company personnel are doing today as they make progress in restoring electricity to thousands of who lost power in Hurricane Laura.
Britt Clayton is laboring away in southwest Louisiana this week, the lead lineman for the southern division for Alabama Power.
“I would say we done 100 poles and probably pulled five miles of new wire,” Clayton said. “Yes sir, when we got over to Lake Charles, it was ground zero.”
The heat is oppressive. The hours are long. In fact, we’re talking 16 hours a day in the buckets doing all they can to restore power to thousands who lost electricity in the hurricane.
“We try to look out for each other and make sure that we all go home the way we came,” Clayton said.
He and his team left Alabama on Aug. 27, drove more than 500 miles and seven hours to begin their restoration work in Beaumont, Texas. A few days in Beaumont and then it was on to Orange, Texas. Now, they’re in Lakes Charles, Louisiana.
“It reminds us a lot of when Hurricane Michael hit Panama City, Florida,” he said.
A 12 year veteran, Clayton is no stranger to working in the aftermath of natural disasters. Of all the storms that afflict us, Clayton finds the hurricane to be by far the most challenging.
“Because it’s such a wide spread area that gets affected,” Clayton said.
As you can imagine the job is fraught with danger. But so far, so good. No one’s been injured on the job.
There’s no word yet when Britt Clayton and his team of 50 will be home but he says they’ll have a meeting later this week that could determine when they’ll wrap things up.