Earlier this year, Spark Power team members in Canada headed south of the border to assist with U.S. power restoration following hurricanes Isaias and Laura. This marks the third year that Spark has participated in storm restoration efforts, with this recent mission covering Baltimore, Delaware, Connecticut, Iowa, southern Texas, and Louisiana for a total of 52 days.
“In Louisiana, we were working in 95-degree Fahrenheit weather, which was about 110 degrees with humidity,” says David Findlay, a field technician who was one of eight Spark employees dispatched for restoration work. “There were snakes, insects, alligators… everything you could think of.”
Covering approximately 24,000 km in total, the Spark team performed a range of tasks and duties. “The work varies from storm to storm,” says Cody Sullivan, a Spark field technician who also helped in restoring power to the area. “In Louisiana, we spent the majority of our time working on main feeder lines. [The area] was completely devastated; within three miles there were maybe 10 poles left standing… there were 250 of us working the area due to the widespread damage.”
And the team’s hard work did not go unnoticed. “We did a victory lap around a small subdivision to ensure the power was on, and there were so many ‘thank you’s’,” says Findlay. “Just general gratitude across the board.”
They also had a chance to connect with members of Spark Power’s U.S. office in San Antonio, Texas, and were introduced to authentic southern barbeque.
To dispatch teams in a timely manner, Spark begins preparations like gathering safety equipment and tools as soon as incoming hurricanes become known. “You’re working in adverse conditions, in places where you’re not familiar with the network itself, and I’m very proud of the storm restoration team that goes down there,” says John Portt, branch manager at Spark Power. “They always put Spark’s name up very high.”
As hurricane season continues, Spark Power will remain on standby and prepare to dispatch support as needed.
Way to go, team!