While Floridians were fleeing hurricane Irma, 2016 MPTC electrical power distribution alumnus Jake Merrill, along with approximately 80,000 other lineman from across the U.S. and Canada, headed to Florida to help repair the utility infrastructure and restore power. Jake is an apprentice lineman through Missouri Valley Line Constructors and works for M. J. Electric. He recently took some time to answer a few questions about the experience:
When did you get to Florida? Where in Florida were you?
We left Wisconsin on September 8. We first stopped in Lake City for our safety orientation, then drove to Orlando for one night. We got up the next day and drove to Sunrise, let me remind you this is when the hurricane was coming through, then drove to Fort Lauderdale where we stayed for about a week. After that, we went to Homestead for a day and then worked in Naples for a few days. On September 24 we were released from the hurricane work in Naples and a few of us headed to Texas for a couple weeks to help wreck out and rebuild a 210’ lattice tower.