PSO Crews Return Home After Helping Hurricane Irma Victims


Monday, September 25th 2017, 5:44 pm
By: News On 6


After two long weeks of helping with Hurricane Irma recover, 300 PSO employees are back in Oklahoma.

The convoy of PSO trucks traveled thousands of miles and worked hundreds of hours to help restore power to areas impacted by the hurricane; and after all that work, the crews were happy to be home.

Ryan Tullous and Nick Nance worked on the same crew in Florida and also work together in Tulsa, but this trip had them up against some new challenges.

"Sixteen-hour days. We had different weather conditions. It was a lot different there than it was in Oklahoma - the humidity there, we weren't used to that," Nance said.

The crews are used to seeing a section of downed lines after a tornado or ice storm, but Irma left behind a different type of devastation.

"On a hurricane, it's just miles and miles of damage. Total destruction," Tullous said.

They said the 16-hour days were busy, and sleeping in tents got a bit cramped, but crews were up against more than that.

"You may have heard some of the stories - alligators out there, boa constrictor wrapped around the utility poles," said PSO spokesman, Stan Whiteford.

He said utility crews gear up across the nation when tragedy strikes; it’s a partnership called a formal mutual utility network.

"There are times when we need crews from outside of Oklahoma to come," Whiteford said.

Although help wasn't needed in Oklahoma, that could change anytime, so the workers said it's no problem to do their part now.

"I've never seen so many people more grateful for getting the power back on," Tullous said.

The last time PSO dispatched 300 employees to help was in 2012 during Hurricane Sandy. With Harvey and Irma, they've don’t it in twice in a less than a month.