Two weeks and more than 12,000 restored customers later, TXU Electric Delivery crews who worked to restore power in Florida are coming home to Texas.
TXU Electric Delivery's Hurricane Wilma storm restoration team returns to Dallas/Fort Worth today after working side-by-side with Florida Power & Light to restore power to hurricane victims. A group of about 80 TXU Electric Delivery employees will arrive at D/FW Airport around mid-day on two flights from Miami.
"Our crews went to Florida to restore power following Hurricane Wilma. We worked on both the East and West coasts of Florida in Ft. Myers and Miami. Floridians were generous with their praise and their support," said Brenda Pulis, senior vice president, TXU Electric Delivery. "Now, it's time to come home."
More than 100 employees and contractors and about 60 trucks left for Fort Myers on Oct. 26. Crews were made up of employees who volunteered to be part of the restoration effort, including damage assessors, line workers, support personnel, and administrative staff. Hurricane Wilma's restoration team worked 16-hour days in high humidity and rains to replace poles, service lines, transformers, and rebuild substations following the storm.
Customers in Florida, some of whom had been without power for more than two weeks, were ecstatic to see Texas crews, often thanking them for their hard work with anything they had, from doughnuts to animals.
"It was amazing to hear," said Pulis. "Some of these people had been left with significant damage to repair on their homes, but they still wanted to give something back to our crews because their work meant so much. The teams were so touched by the outpouring of support they received from Florida residents."
While the crews found the hurricane restoration effort to be extremely rewarding, they look forward to getting back to work on their home turf. For some, this is the third major hurricane effort they've been involved in this year. TXU Electric Delivery also assisted with restoration following Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita. Delivering excellent service here in Texas is still their number one priority.
Professional drivers, also scheduled to depart the Miami staging area today, will drive 30 TXU Electric Delivery trucks back to Dallas.