OG&E Linemen Recount Their Experience In Puerto Rico

Friday, August 3rd 2018, 10:26 am
By: News 9

Its been five months since groups of Oklahoma linemen returned from spending more than 40 days restoring power to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. A large portion of the island spent four months without light or energy. 

The Oklahoma Standard was fully on display. The linemen said they never dreamed they would get to go. 

Lacie: What was it like when you saw the devastation and what they're going through for the first time? 

"When we first got there and they took us to our first job, my biggest deal was where do you start?" said Tyler Scott. "You've never seen devastation like what we witnessed," he said. 

Lacie: Were you physically putting up poles because the poles were down? Were lines completely gone?

"I actually had a guy on my crew- one of our safety guys- had to bring repelling equipment and he actually had to repel off of a mountain just to get some wire back up," said Scott. 

Lacie: You probably don't think of yourself as a hero, but in their eyes you were. 

"You know I wore a killer bee suit...never once thought I'd do that. But I did just to help get the power on," said Brandon Smith. "We don't run from anything. We go there, we get it done and we try to be the best why we're doing it," he Smith. 

Linemen said an entire block of residents would come out excited to see them.

"As soon as you pull up, they was excited to see you. one time we left, they came out crying and happy and holding signs. We were like movie stars overthere," said Mark Hamm. 

"The Los Chitos, that's what we were known as. The "orange ones," so when we left they knew it, said Hamm.

"They might not have had power over there but they grew closer as a community than they were before, said Brandon Smith. 

"It just made you really be grateful for what you have," said Scott. 

"It changed our hearts and we changed their lives," said Rick Berg. 

All the the lineman said they would go back to Puerto Rico if needed again.