Electricity has become so ingrained in our daily lives, we hardly think about it – unless the power is out. Not only do we take for granted the convenience of working lights and appliances at home, but also that our office equipment, cell phones, and other wireless devices we rely on are energized and can be charged when we need them. When they are not, it can bring our normal lives to an abrupt halt.
National Lineworker Appreciation Day is a day set aside for us to recognize the commitment and sacrifice made by lineworkers across the country who power our communities.
Nothing is more important to Earl Phillips than keeping his family safe. The senior lineman from Greenville will do whatever it takes to protect his wife, Joi, and their three children. That protective instinct also extends to Phillips’ work family. He’s prioritized safety while working on the front lines during the pandemic. And, like many essential workers, he’s made sacrifices to ensure his loved ones and co-workers remain safe and healthy.
When the lights go out, they go to work, and we couldn’t be more grateful for what they do.
Gene Woolsey, senior lineman, thought he had worked through every type of power emergency possible in his 39 years at Entergy Mississippi. He’s restored power outages caused by hurricanes, tornadoes, thunderstorms, ice storms, extreme temperatures, flooding, lightning, fires, animals and cars. A pandemic is not one of the situations he expected to include on that list. Yet, throughout COVID-19, he is among those on the front lines keeping power flowing.
Crews expect to restore power by tonight to the vast majority of customers who can accept service after severe weather Thursday knocked out power to about 40,000 Louisiana customers. Some customers scattered across Greater Baton Rouge and Kentwood in Tangipahoa Parish may not be restored until early tomorrow.
Preparing for a storm is a challenge that Entergy New Orleans lineworkers train for year-round, but it takes a little different effort and resilience to restore power during a dual event.
In its fourth year, the program awarded $100K-plus to nine organizations serving 16 counties