Xcel Energy crews making progress with Hurricane Irma repairs

Xcel Energy crews making progress with Hurricane Irma repairs

KFDA - Last weekend, area Xcel Energy employees left for Florida to help restore power after Hurricane Irma.

"We got the call on Saturday, and we were ready to go by Sunday morning," said Wes Reeves, spokesperson for Xcel Energy.

Xcel energy is part of a mutual aid network which sends men whenever there is a natural disaster.

"Tampa Electric had a pretty big disaster there, [so] they went down the list and said we need 'x' number of linemen," said Reeves.

Xcel energy already had a group of men on standby for Harvey who were never deployed.

"So we were ready for it, in fact we were more ready for it because we had a group ready for Harvey," said Reeves.

One of the men in Florida say the aftermath of Irma is a tragic sight to see.

"Some pockets look just fine, other looks like a disaster zone," said Lee Nordby, a lineman for Xcel Energy. "In pockets that are bad, the wind gusts really took the trees down, with the over-saturated soil that brought them right over on the lines."

The large-scale damage to these lines is what most of their work is centered around.

"We are seeing a lot of line down, we are changing out poles every day," said Nordby.

Nordby said the extreme heat and high humidity can be challenging to work in, but that hasn't slowed them down a bit.

"They are doing a great job working through the heat, working through some of the humid issues, they are really doing a nice job," said Nordby.

Nordby said the Floridians seem grateful for their help, and often bring food and Gatorade to the crews as they work.

The crew hopes their efforts are meaningful to the people back home, too.

"It's really disheartening when you hear something going on in another part of the country or the world, and you feel like you can't do anything," said Reeves.

Reeves said that by helping Florida out, Xcel Energy hopes to make a positive difference in the community, both in Florida and here at home.

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