By Andrea Menniti
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — “Words can’t express it. You don’t know what’s going on outside. You don’t know what’s happening to your roof. Are your cars OK?”
Hurricane Irma hits especially close to home for Evermary Hickey, PG&E’s director of emergency preparedness and response. She rode out the storm in her family’s Florida house, while keeping a close eye on the more than 120 PG&E personnel deployed to help Florida Power & Light (FPL) with customer restoration.
“We’re no different than police officers or fire,” Hickey said when asked about PG&E’s role in an emergency or natural disaster. “We are just as important to bringing a community back to normalcy as anyone else.”
Before joining PG&E, Hickey spent more than three decades working for FPL.
The PG&E line workers, equipment operators, supervisors and support personnel arrived on Sept. 8, in advance of Irma’s Florida landfall. Hickey had this message for her colleagues:
“God bless them. Getting here early allowed them to get their boots on the ground quicker and the ability to do that can shave a day two days off a restoration effort, and if you are sitting at the tail end of the restoration, those two days mean a lot.”
Hickey’s house is still standing — and she’ll remain with crews in Florida until FPL no longer needs the helping hand.
“I’m proud to be with this team here,” she said. “Every day we’re going to check to make sure we are safe, because we are coming home the same way we came, safe and as a team.”
(Click here to read all of the coverage of PG&E’s response to Hurricane Irma in Florida.)
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