Willing to help

Published 9:57 pm Tuesday, September 12, 2017

It doesn’t take an especially spectacular memory to recall the hard days following Hurricane Isabel’s destruction around Hampton Roads. The days and, for some, weeks without power taught those who lived here at the time humility, as well as appreciation for some of the little things we all tend to take for granted: Hot showers, cold food, evening entertainment and Internet service come immediately to mind.

For those who were here at the time, the sight of electrical crews caravanning into the area from other parts of the country is something that will always conjure a sense of gratitude. There was nothing like the sight of a crew pulling up to a broken transformer to restore hope that things would soon be back to something approaching normalcy.

More recently, many in Suffolk experienced the same sense of rescue following Hurricane Irene, when power was again lost across wide swaths of Western Tidewater. Once again following that storm, electrical crews from across the mid-Atlantic region and beyond came here to help restore the power in Virginia.

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On Tuesday, Dominion Energy sought to return the favor, sending hundreds of workers south to help restore the electrical grid for folks in Florida following the devastating strike there and in other parts of the Southeast by Hurricane Irma.

Ten linemen from the company’s Chuckatuck office were part of that contingent. They will be gone for up to two weeks, working long days and full weeks to help get things back to normal in that region, and if there’s more work to be done after that period, they will be replaced by others from Dominion.

Company officials said this week the response is part of a longstanding mutual aid network among the nation’s power companies. Families of those who are making the trip will sacrifice time with their loved ones in order that victims of the hurricane can have their lights back on, their water heated and their refrigerators cooled.

There is far more work to be done in Florida and the Southeast than the restoration of power, but this is an important step in the recovery process — not the least because of the psychological effect that it will have on the victims.

We continue to pray for the recovery efforts, and we thank God for the people — like Dominion’s linemen — who have been willing to drop everything and hurry to the aid of those who need it right now.

May God bless them all.