Mt Pleasant News

Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 21, 2018

Access Energy linemen return from hurricane relief efforts successful, tired

Sep 26, 2017
Photo by: Submitted photo Kurt Lowenberg, Richard Clark, Tony Brown and Jon Trumpold, of Access Energy, traveled to Georgia with other coops in Iowa to assist with Hurricane Irma relief on Monday, Sept. 11. They returned eight days later, successful and exhausted.

By Grace King, Mt. Pleasant News


Access Energy Cooperative’s linemen returned to Mt. Pleasant on Monday, Sept. 18, after an eight-day trip to the Florida-Georgia line assisting with Hurricane Irma relief.

The linemen traveled in a convoy with other rural electric cooperatives from across Iowa on Sept. 11, headed to Okefenokee REMC Headquarters in Nahunta, Georgia. Tony Brown, Richard Clark, Kurt Lowenberg and Jon Trumpold of Access Energy went with instructions to help turn people’s power back on, Access Energy’s General Manager Kevin Wheeler said before the convoy left.

“It was about what we were expecting,” Lowenberg said, adding that some of the other men had helped with Hurricane Katrina relief in 2005. “When you go to that kind of stuff, you’re expecting to work long hours and just help people. That was the attitude of all of the Iowa coops.”

Lowenberg said the team worked 17 to 19 hours a day for four days. The other four days were spent traveling to and from Georgia.

“Picture your front yard and all your trees blown down,” Lowenberg said. “We saw one tree that went through a front porch and into a house.”

A post on Access Energy’s Facebook page on Sept. 18, which shows the four men from Access Energy posed in front of an overturned tree, said that the crew was hard at work helping victims of the hurricane. People who were helped in Georgia and Florida by the volunteers commented praise for the four men.

“I recognize those men!!!” one user wrote. “They are our heroes, they got our power on Friday afternoon on day six (of the power outage) near Callahan, Fl. We appreciate you and all that you do!!!”

In a message sent privately to Access Energy and shared with Mt. Pleasant News by Wheeler, an employee of Okefenokee said, “I want to thank your company for the personnel they sent to the area to help with power restoration. They are unsung heroes and we appreciate them. God sent his guardian angels here to help us in our extreme time of need.”

Wheeler said the team “got it together quicker than they thought.” The trip was expected to last two weeks as opposed to the eight days the crew was down south.

“Everybody down there, as far as the locals, they were all very nice and very grateful,” Lowenberg said. “They offered a lot of sweet tea to everyone.”

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