Utility crews try to stay warm during tough winter - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Utility crews try to stay warm during tough winter


Those of you with an office job, are probably pretty thankful to be inside this winter, but those who have to work outside, say Spring can't come quick enough!

"This has probably been one of the toughest winters in my career that I've experienced," says AEP line crew supervisor, Kevin Sommers. He's been in the utility business for 30 years.

"It's brutal out here. It takes us a lot longer to get the job done," says Sommers.

He and his crew worked to repair a transformer in Elkhart Wednesday afternoon. Luckily the snow had stopped, but the wind was still strong and you could really feel it, way up in the air.

"That wind hitting you right in the face, sometimes there's no way around being in that position, you can't just turn your back to it if that's where the work is," says line mechanic, Nick McClaine.

He says he's definitely ready for spring. McClaine says staying warm has been quite a challenge this winter. The only way to do it, is to take short, frequent breaks in a warm truck.

"With the rubber goods that we use as an insulative barrier, protective barrier, you can try to wear some liners or something underneath it, but once that stuff gets cold, it's bone-chilling," says McClaine.

The workers say the winter weather simply elevates the danger level. From the bitter cold, to navigating in the snow, to working longer hours in the dark. But they say the job still has its perks. "It's rewarding when you know you've given yourself and you've missed family events, but you've helped people keep their power on, survive," says Sommers.


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