More than 100 AEP Ohio workers are in Florida trying to get the power back on for Hurricane Michael victims.
Crew members say it’s some of the most widespread and severe damage they’ve ever seen and restoration work isn’t without challenges.
Jeff Blanton is among the 108 workers from AEP Ohio left Tuesday to work in Callaway, a suburb of Panama City, Florida.
“These guys, they’re knowledgeable and they can they make that happen. They do whatever it takes,” said Blanton.
Blanton said the destruction is indescribable.
“We’ve never seen anything like this, this is the worst we’ve ever seen,” said Blanton.
In photos shared by Blanton you can see power poles snapped like toothpicks and power lines wound up in trees like balls of yarn.
“You know wire twisted in tree branches that you couldn’t put there that bad if you tried, but somehow the wind and the weather did that.”
Blanton said hot and humid weather, plus traffic jams and a lack of cell service are making for slow work. He said they’ll get the job done.
“These people down here they want to help us you know they’re so thankful for us being here and so appreciative and that makes you feel really good to be down there helping them.”
He said this assignment is personal.
“This is more than just a restoration effort it’s what I would call a humanitarian effort at this point because this is about people and getting their lives back to where they need to be.”
The 108 AEP Ohio workers are on a 14-day assignment. Based on how restoration goes Blanton said AEP may send more crews after the two weeks are up.