“It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.” -- Aristotle.
It is no secret that Tampa Electric depends on crews from near and far to help restore power once a major storm has passed. With grueling hours and unpredictable working conditions after Hurricane Ian, it's easy to see the angst restoring power to nearly 300,000 customers can put on crews – especially for those working on a system that’s not their own. But in that moment of distress, Iowa-based MJ Electric continued to shine bright despite these challenging times.
“MJ Electric was the sole foreign resource in the Dade City area,” said Gerald Brigham, Tampa Electric’s Engineering & Operations Distribution Manager. “Their entire team maintained a positive attitude and got all Dade City customers restored well ahead of projections.”
After their initial task, the crew was sent to Plant City where new challenges awaited them.
“This was such a tough job,” said Ryan Campos, Line Supervisor for Tampa Electric. “They spent hours working in a swampy, hilly terrain with snakes and mosquitos all around them. In fact, they couldn't get the equipment or tools back there, so they had to walk it to the site itself.”
In addition to the unfavorable working conditions, the work required a much heavier lift than normal. Most power restoration jobs require only one span to restore power; this one required ten. Most efforts restore power to a community; this one restored power to just one customer.
In true fashion, the crew from MJ Electric got the job done. Not to mention it was completed two hours ahead of schedule.
“This should give the community a sense of confidence that we will do whatever it takes to restore power to all of our customers after a storm,” said Ryan. “This was a team of thirty working on just one property, and they wouldn’t stop until they got the job done.”
“It’s almost like they’ve done it before,” joked Gerald. “It was fluid. They were thorough and safe, just like Tampa Electric lineworkers. Our guys take pride in their work when they go out of town and these guys did the same.”
We are forever grateful for all the crew members who came to help our community in this time of need. If it weren’t for their commitment and the hard work of our own linemen, we would not have been able to restore power to our customers as quickly as we did. And to MJ Electric, your talent, positivity and willingness certainly shined bright throughout these (literally) dark times.