Frederick County residents respond to New Orleans in Ida's wake
- Sep 17, 2021 2:36 pm GMT
Sep. 17—In his more than 30 years working with the Potomac Edison electric utility company,
He spent two weeks in
But the damage Hurricane Ida brought to eastern
He is one of at least 10 people who work in
"The people that leave their families to help in emergency situations like this are definitely troopers," Potter told the
Entergy, the energy company that services areas of
Ida didn't produce the storm surge that would've been necessary for water to overtop the new levees and bring Katrina-level flooding, Link said. But the hurricane's forceful winds exposed power systems as a vulnerability in the water-adjacent city.
Potomac Edison dispatched 20 Maryland employees, including nine who work in
Upon arriving, Potter's team saw unearthed trees, poles blocking roadways and wires strewn across vehicles. In some cases, homes had lost their roofs and gas stations were void of their canopies.
From the vantage point of buckets attached to Potomac Edison utility vehicles, Potter said his crew could see damage extend for miles.
Their days in
"You pull to a job, and you step outside, and within 10 minutes you're soaking wet," Potter said.
As a result, the crew followed intermittent breaks and water consumption guidelines based on the day's heat and humidity indexes.
For more than two weeks, the Potomac Edison crew straightened poles, replaced transformers and rewired homes. In cases where a pole was down and electrical wire was tangled, they had to reconfigure the previously standing infrastructure, beginning with new poles and new wire.
They're far from the only ones — utility trucks and repair workers were omnipresent throughout the most-battered parts of the state.
The chapter, which covers
Henderson's training in post-disaster child care, however, made it more appropriate for her to be in
"We absolutely couldn't do the mission of the
Henderson's schedule — and the unpredictability of responding in a post-hurricane setting — prevented her from speaking with
Henderson has been in
Potter recalled seeing people returning to their homes, or what remained of them, to discover what they'd lost. Despite the devastation, the people of
"A lot of the people didn't have much to start with, and they lost everything. But they have an attitude unlike any other state I've worked in," Potter said. "They say we will rebuild, and we'll survive."
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