By Don Douglas
We experienced the first widespread outage on Friday, December 16, 2022 with most everyone back on by Saturday, December 17. The next storm wasn’t so easy. It started in the early morning hours on Friday, December 23. That’s when Board President Steve Knowlton lost power, along with many members in East Montpelier.
Despite all the things that went wrong during the six days of restoration, watching employees work together to get the power restored always makes me proud of WEC. My first storm was more than 20 years ago. The line crew back then was mostly 40- to 55-year-old men. Today, the WEC line crew is considerably younger, with men in their 20s and 30s. I saw them return for a meal, and while they looked very tired, I could see that their spirits were high. They all missed celebrating the holiday with their families, and along with borrowed line workers from other utilities and the tree trimming crews, power was restored as quickly and safely as possible. The employees inside the office also missed family celebrations, and also worked long hours into the night to answer phones, dispatch crews, and prepare meals for the restoration crews.
There will be another storm some day. I hope it doesn’t happen during a holiday. But whenever it does happen, we know that we can count on our employees to rise to the challenge and get the job done. Thank you!! Thank you!!
Don Douglas is WEC’s Board Treasurer.