ABOVE: Tigercat Knuckleboom Log Loader
Hurricane Heroes – Hurricane Ian September 2022
There are hurricane heroes of all types.
There are first responders like police officers, sheriff deputies, fire fighters and emergency medical technicians who rush in when others are rushing out to safety.
There are National Guard members who actually search for survivors and return them to safety via boats and helicopters.
There are churches and charities who open their doors and food pantries to help people with the necessities of life when they must flee their homes for higher ground.
There are neighbors who help others, even when they have suffered greatly.
And there are hurricane heroes we see in caravans of trucks traversing Central Florida to restore power to communities so residents can get back to normal. This post pays tribute to these hurricane heroes, some of whom were in the FPL staging area at Seminole Towne Center on Sunday, October 2, 2022.
The Real Power Rangers
As hurricane Ian approached Florida on September 27, 2022, companies that specialize in storm recovery operations for utility companies, began arriving in Florida from around the country. One of the Florida Power and Light (FPL) staging points was at the Seminole Towne Center in Sanford, Florida.
I came upon the staging area purely by accident on Sunday morning, October 2nd, and was amazed at the number and variety of vehicles that filled the mall parking lot. I rushed home, grabbed my camera and ladder (to get a better vantage point) and headed back to the mall.
There were all types of trucks and equipment as far as the eye could see. There were likely many more companies and states represented, but the staging areas were, for the most part, blocked off to traffic. I was able to speak to a few people and thank them for helping us out. They said they were awaiting new orders and would be moving out soon.
ABC Professional Tree Services is headquartered in Webster, Texas. They were one of many crews there to remove fallen trees. Their bucket truck can be seen if you look between the white and orange Asplundh trucks, below. Their website advertises that they are the largest minority owned vegetation management company. www.ABCTree.com
Asplundh Tree Expert has affiliates in Florida and other states. Their headquarters are in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania. Read their press release about the work their crews are performing in Florida in the aftermath of hurricane Ian. www.Asplundh.com
AV and AVG – Alder Vegetation Group, a Division of Zielies Tree Service out of Bruce, Wisconsin. www.Zielies.com/services/storm-restoration/
Their website states: “Zielies Tree Service is ready and equipped to respond to any storm related outage at any time – day or night. Working with utility providers Zielies is able to safely clear the line and allow for the utility provider to restore power. They are trained to remove trees and debris from power lines.”
Read more about digger derricks, this vehicle and others in the staging area manufactured by Terex Utilities in Watertown, South Dakota.
Bird Electric Enterprises out of Eastland, Texas, supplied digger derricks to drill holes for utility poles for replacement utility poles. www.BirdElectricinc.com
From their website: “Bird Electric has the capabilities, resources, and expertise to restore powerlines after any and all types of storms including Hurricanes, Tornados, Wildfires, and Ice Storms. Bird has experience working across the nation to restore lost power to electric utilities and their customers.”
Carolina Power & Signalization crew from Fayetteville, North Carolina handles all aspects of power transmission, including storm restoration. www.CarolinaPowerAndSignalization.com
CenterPoint Energy headquartered in Houston, Texas, must have had a large presence, as they had a Mobile Command vehicle stationed outside the old Sears store. On Tuesday, October 4th, many of their vehicles were in a caravan on Interstate 4 headed west. www.CenterPointEnergy.com
Above image is of a line truck from CenterPoint Energy caught on Interstate 4. You can see the spools of power line on the back of the truck.
Hazlett Tree Service from Townville, Pennsylvania, according to their website, provides line clearance services. Their utility division focuses on right-of-way maintenance in line clearance operations, using both manual and aerial lift crews. www.Hazlettinc.com
Cut Above Vegetation Services (formerly Jaflo) is a Treeways Company and has affiliates in a number of states. Their website states: “Treeways is a leading full-service vegetation management solution for utilities, transportation, and other critical industries.” www.Treeways.com
Jaflo is a Treeways Company out of Allentown, Pennsylvania. Their slogan is: “Clearing the way for over 50 years. Utility line and brush clearing.” www.Jaflotrees.com
Linetec Services a Centuri Company out of Houston, Texas, supplied digger derricks with giant augers for drilling holes to install new utility poles. www.LinetecServices.com
From their website: “Linetec Services is a premier electric transmission, distribution, and storm restoration services contractor with long-standing relationships serving major investor-owned electric utilities and municipalities throughout the Southeast and Midwest. We’re proud to work on our nation’s critical power systems while providing a safe, team environment where our employees can flourish.”
SOL Power Lines crews out of Lecompte, Louisiana, work with high voltage power lines and sub-stations. www.SolPowerLines.com
From their website: “Emergency storm restoration is a critical part of our service for our customers. Crews work around the clock to restore power safely… Our fleet includes material handlers, bucket trucks, digger trucks, four-wheel-drive pickup trucks and material trailers for assisting distribution and transmissions needs.”
Read about the Big Tex gooseneck trailers in use by the restoration teams, including the one above loaded up with transformers and other gear and equipment.
Sun Coast Resources out of Houston, Texas, providing lubricants and fuel. They had this small tanker truck and a larger one, visible from the Highway 46 exit ramp on Interstate 4. www.SunCoastResources.com
Taken from the Highway 46 exit ramp on eastbound Interstate 4, the above photo, shows a large fuel tank from Sun Coast Resources, digger derricks, tractor trailers full of supplies, blue bins (to the left of the tanker) full of supplies, and more supplies to the right, including what look like transformers.
ABOVE: Sun Coast tankers, digger derricks, etc.
Tigercat 234 – Knuckleboom log loader. Read more about the Tigercat 234. The three pieces of equipment here are used in the lumber industry, making them perfect for transporting and lifting new utility poles onto vehicles.
Utility Trucks & Equipment Inc. out of Lake City, Florida, supplied a number of vehicles. This one appears to be a crane as it has a hook off the back. www.utilitytrks.com
Thanks to all of the people who came to Florida to help us! If you were here and not listed, please add your information below under Comments!
Peruse all the photos below!
Tiger Cat Knuckleboom Log Loader information guide.
Asplundh Press Release on their participation in the restoration efforts in Florida and other states.
Information on the Terex Commander digger derrick