It was my first year in the trade and my first major winter storm call out, an ice storm.
My storm assignment was working the midnight shift with my crew chief, Nick, on his truck, my normal spot. Nick was an experienced lineman, not big on talking (especially to the grunts) but he taught me a lot and we got along fine. The second man, who normally worked with another crew, was a young and talented lineman, Jimmy.
The first few jobs that we responded to were quite a learning experience, getting to see the damage, all the equipment encased in ice and how these veterans managed the response to each location. After responding to several jobs that first night, we were assigned to an area outage job in the central part of the service area. It was late into the shift and the damage was extensive. Daylight was beginning to break before help arrived.
As the sun came up, it was a surreal experience. We were sitting in the middle of crystal menagerie. Everything (i.e., trees, streets, poles, wires) was encased in ice with the trees bowed over and cables and wires sagged low.
It was an enduring sight that stays with you, no matter how many storms or occurrences you experience.
Terry Bellew - Lineman