TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Nearly 200 Tampa Electric workers are in Louisiana assisting with outages caused by a winter storm that hit a large portion of the U.S.
8 On You Side was at TECO’s operations center when crews deployed Tuesday morning.
“It’s a little bit of mental preparedness. Winter storms are different than going on a hurricane,” lineman John Farkas said.
Farkas is among the 180 linemen, tree trimmers and damage assessors who are making the two-day trip to Shreveport, Louisiana to assist with power outages.
“It’s going to be cold, the ground is not going to thaw out so it makes the obstacles worse. It’s much more difficult. You can’t see what you’re looking at because it’s covering ice or snow. So, it’s a dangerous situation,” he said.
Farkas is prepared to handle snow, sleet, ice and single digit temperatures for two weeks.
“All the long johns I own, all the insulated overalls I own, and I’ve been in the store room picking anything that might keep me warm.”
The longtime lineman told 8 On Your Side he can handle the conditions if it’s for families who need help.
“If they have no source of heat and you’re sitting below 0, that’s bad for anybody. They need restoration as fast as they can get back to being at least warm,” said Farkas.
A TECO spokesperson said the crews are prepared for a two-week deployment.