Upstate residents show appreciation to linemen during storm recovery


SENECA, SC (WSPA)–Repairs to power grids are mostly complete in Seneca, that’s according to Seneca Light and Water officials. Last week’s EF-3 tornado nearly wiped them out, but now many are saying thank you to linemen for their efforts.

It’s been all hands on deck working to get Seneca back on track after a deadly tornado. Great strides have been made, and some are calling a special group unsung heroes.

“Linemen from all over the place…they came down from Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia. It’s just been wonderful,” said Bob Faires, Director of Utilities for Seneca Light & Water.

Seneca Light and Water leaders said 170 linemen have worked tirelessly to restore power for 5500 customers who’ve been in the dark.

“We brought a multitude of people from outside. Pike Electric probably has the most with a little over 100. UPA brought in probably about 30 to 40,” Faires said. “We received help from Gaffney, Easley, from our sister City here in Westminster,” he added.

Several have volunteered to wash their laundry, send them thank you notes, and also feed them.

“Being away separated from their kids and families, we can’t thank them enough,” said Preston Cooley, Associate Minister of Students, at Trinity Baptist Church.

That’s why residents like Cooley are doing things to return the favor.

Sherry Lay’s catering business has been preparing three meals a day to help lighten the burden for all of the linemen and 60 to 70 support staff.

For them to up and be able to come here and be here for 10 to 12 or 14 days away from their families. It’s very humbling for this community,” said Lay, Owner, Catering By Sherry Lay}

Many of the linemen have been staying in hotels–many miles away from their families.

“We thought this was going to be a four to 6 weeks process,” Faires said. “And to be able to basically have our system restored in less than two weeks, it’s just been a testament to the help we’ve received,” he added.

Residents said they wanted to do something for the men and women who’ve put their lives on the line for many. They said it has been important to repay the heroes, who’ve given light to a once very darken town.

“Being able to make a plate and serve it to someone, who is actually serving our community, it’s very humbling,” Lay said. “I was even envisioning that being my husband being away from me and my kids. And it really does give you a whole new perspective on appreciation for what people do that you necessarily don’t run into on a daily bases,” she added.

Leaders said they only have to restore power for less than 100 people. They also have smaller tasks to complete to finish restoration.

Seneca’s Director of Utilities tells 7-News, a number of crews have already gone home. As for the caterer, she said Thursday will be their last day, but she’s grateful to have served.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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