Death of utility worker slows power restoration - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Death of utility worker slows power restoration

Last Sunday's windstorm has been blamed for contributing to four other deaths in our region. The most recent happened Friday when a utility worker from Florida was killed possibly by electrocution.

Gordon Reslink says his crew is being more meticulous about repairing lines in wake of what happened.  As a result, it's slowing down power restoration just slightly.

"It takes a little bit longer  to do than it might have had something not happened.  There's no cutting short cuts," said Reslink, an Advanced Utility Service line foreman.

The line worker who died Friday was a fellow crew member from Advanced Utility Services out of Florida.  A deputy coroner says 28-year-old Steve McMath was possibly electrocuted.  But Reslink disputes that.

"The man had a heart attack.  It wasn't electrocution, he wasn't electrocuted.  He had a health problem which no one knew," said Reslink.

When the crews from AUS were dispatched out of Florida they figured they might head to Texas.  But when they wound up in Kentucky they figured they would see a downed power line or maybe a tree limb, but nothing like they've encountered.

It's a difficult task, sawing through branches, trying to restore power to the thousands still without it.

"It's an inconvenience, it's not the end of the world and that's what it has been," said Donny Greene, a storm victim.

"I think we owe a lot of thanks to them for working so hard to get us back up and going again," said Kris Mowery, a storm victim.

Making matters easier are those like these church members who passed out hot dogs and soft drinks to the utility crews as a sign of appreciation.  Reslink says it is unlike what he's encountered following other storms.

Losing a crew member has been difficult but he says they are here to do a job and they intend to complete it.

"It's definitely hard.  It's like losing your mother or your brother because we're family. It does not matter who the linemen is, he is family," said Reslink.

There are more than 2,200 utility workers from 12 different states including Florida.  An LG & E spokesman says the utility is still accepting workers from other states in hopes of speeding up power restoration.

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