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CoServ lineman talks about restoring power in Mississippi after Hurricane Zeta

By NICHOLAS SAKELARIS | CoServ

Hurricanes have wreaked havoc across the Gulf Coast the past few months, leaving thousands of electric cooperative members in the dark. And twice this hurricane season, CoServ has answered the call for mutual aid by sending crews to the devastated areas.

CoServ Lineman Jacob Barreiro received the call on a Saturday that he and his crew had one day to prepare to travel to Mississippi where an estimated 30,000 Coast Electric Power Association members were without power.

The father of a 2-month old boy had little time to say goodbye.  

He and the rest of the crew spent that Saturday prepping the trucks, trailers and equipment and packed plenty of snacks for the long days ahead.

At 6 a.m. November 1, two crews totaling 11 linemen left the Prosper Service Center for a 14-hour drive to Mississippi

Over the next few days they fixed broken poles, repaired downed power lines and restored electricity for thousands of thousands of Coast EPA members. They’d wake up at 5 a.m. and work 12-hour days.

It’s the first time Jacob has worked on lines outside CoServ and he said it really made him appreciate the state-of-the-art equipment we have on our system. 

At one point, they repaired a broken pole with wires that went over a four-lane highway. They dropped the wire off the pole, replaced the pole, set the new pole and then put the wires back up. They had to close the road to traffic during much of the work.

By the time CoServ’s crews left Mississippi on November 5, power had been restored to all Coast EPA members. Jacob also grew closer to his crew.

“That is when you get the most bonded with the guys you work with. When you’re with them almost 24/7, you build a good camaraderie,” Jacob said.

Jacob missed his infant son Wyatt and wife Liz while he was away. He used Facetime to keep in touch as much as possible.

CoServ also sent two separate lineman crews to a mutual aid call in Alabama in September to help Baldwin EMC restore power in the aftermath of Hurricane Sally.

Thank you to all of the CoServ linemen who went and their families for their time and sacrifice serving the people affected by the hurricane. We appreciate you!

First crew: 

  • Supervisor Jake Garcia
  • Journeyman Dustin Rucks
  • Lineman Santiago Estrada
  • Lineman Chance Tenney
  • Lineman Jeshua Price
  • Lineman Garrett McFerren

Second crew 

  • Supervisor Andrew Pierce
  • Journeyman Aaron Armstrong
  • Lineman Jacob Barreiro
  • Lineman Ethan Scheffler
  • Lineman Ryan Anderson

 

For another recent example of CoServ crews assisting other cooperatives, listen to this episode of our podcast!

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