COLUMBUS (WCMH) –AEP Ohio workers left for Florida last Saturday and are still working to restore power to many Floridians who are suffering from the 90-degree heat with no air conditioning.
More than 700 Ohio AEP workers, who are all volunteers, have made their way down to Florida to help restore the power. As of Thursday morning, there are 1.4 million still without power in the state.
Selwyn Dias, who’s the Vice President of distribution operations said his worker know this is effort is bigger than them all.
“This is more than just a restoration effort, Shawn, this is a humanitarian effort.”
Dias added that when they first arrived the devastation could be seen everywhere.
“It was a conductor that was down on the ground. cross-arms that were broken,” said Dias.
All of the workers from AEP Ohio are volunteers. So, linemen like Justin Demarchi have to sacrifice.
“I’m missing sporting events. Volleyball games with my daughter. It was her birthday today. She kept asking me, ‘Daddy, you going to be home next week? I got three games next week. I said, ‘no honey, it’s probably going to be another week.”
He volunteers because he knows this is the best way to use his skills to help others.
He added it’s what he’s trained to do and it’s what he loves to do.
“When we roll into a neighborhood, they know that their lights are going to come back on,” said Demarchi.
They are not sure when they will be able to return because of how massive the destruction was.