Southeast Texas worker helping restore power in Florida after Hurricane Matthew

A Kirbyville power line worker is now heading to Miami to help repair power lines; he's already assisted in the Jacksonville and Orlando areas

BEAUMONT - Michele Chandler has lived in Kirbyville her whole life, and was here when Hurricane Rita tore through Texas. Now her family is among those from Southeast Texas giving back to a state that provided help in our time of need.

Her husband, Chris has been working on power lines for the last 3 years, and left for Florida on Tuesday to help restore power to those affected by Hurricane Matthew.

While Michele says she understands her husband's passion to help others, she can't help but be concerned.

"I always worry, always have that in the back of my mind for his safety um but he loves his job and he loves going and working on power lines and restoring people's power and just helping out when others need it,” Chandler said.

Chris is joining a Grey Electricity convoy and has already visited the Jacksonville and Orlando areas, and they plan to head to Miami.

Some of these areas have seen harsh winds and rain, which can make restoring power a tough task.

Vernon Pierce with Entergy tells us that working on power lines can be dangerous alone, however he's sure energy companies won't risk putting workers in these types of conditions.

"Safety is going to their first and foremost thing that they're going to do and they won't just reschedule out and go where they want to. They're going to be instructed by that power company were going to work in this area so they know where all the different people are working and they're not on top of each other,” Pierce said.

Chris has lent a helping hand after hurricanes including assisting in recovery from hurricane sandy, where he was gone for a month to help restore power.

Michele hopes those he encounters appreciate the commitment.

"In the past he's experienced people think that when the lights go out you can just snap your fingers and the power can be back on but electricity is dangerous and it takes time...they're sacrificing being away from family and um you know they get lonely and tired too," Chandler said.

Michele says she’s not sure when her husband will return home, but has stayed in contact with him throughout his trip.

(© 2016 KBMT)


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