Catching up with Consumers Energy crews restoring power after hurricane


JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) – Right now hundreds of utility workers from Michigan are down south helping to restore power in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

6 News caught up with a worker from mid-Michigan who’s putting in long hours in Florida.

Ben McCrumb has been in Florida for over a week now.

But he’s not on vacation.

“It’s not a lot different than a wind storm at home. Other than the climate or conditions,” said McCrumb.

McCrumb is a lineman for Consumers Energy and Union Safety Coordinator for Local 123.

6 News talked with him from Boca Raton, Florida.

He’s one of hundreds of Consumers Energy employees working down south.

“There’s a lot of tree damage in people’s backyards and you can’t get a bucket truck to it. So a lot of the work is done the manual way by climbing and making your repairs,” McCrumb said.

He says crews are often hard at work from dawn to dusk.

“These guys are pretty well beat up,” McCrumb said.

Last week, more than 200 Consumers employees left for Florida.

And this week, 100 more went to the Atlanta area.

Crews are doing a lot of hard work and putting in long hours.

But they’re comforted knowing that a Consumers Energy truck from Michigan is becoming a welcome sight down south.

“There’s been a lot of good interaction with the people of Florida. A couple crews had a guy grill them steaks. We had a little girl color a picture and bring a piece of cake to one of our mechanics. People are very appreciative,” McCrumb said.

It’s gratitude that’s also felt back home.

“We’re very proud of them. We also recognize the fact that a lot of these crews are leaving behind spouses, children. And we want to reach out and recognize those loved ones back here that are sacrificing as well,” said Terry DeDoes, Spokesman for Consumers Energy.

While crews don’t know when they’ll return to Michigan, they can see the difference they’re making in a path of destruction.

“You can tell the morale and the spirits are still there,” McCrumb said.

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