SMECO employees assist with Florida restoration efforts

On October 2, SMECO employees drove to southwest Florida to assist in restoration efforts following a devastating blow from Hurricane Ian.

Five experienced SMECO foremen and former linemen volunteered to join more than 1,000 workers from multiple states to help hard-hit Lee County Electric Cooperative (LCEC) rebuild their system and restore electric service.

According to LCEC’s website, more than 90 percent of the cooperative’s customers were without power following the storm on Sept. 28. LCEC serves the areas around Fort Myers and Sanibel Island, which faced the brunt of the storm as it made landfall.

As of 6 a.m. on October 4, 59 percent of LCEC customers were still without power. Flooding and widespread destruction made it difficult for workers to access many of the areas impacted by the storm. Supply chain issues also added an additional layer of difficulty to restoring service.

SMECO is very grateful to be a part of the cooperative community and step in to help our neighbors in need. Being part of a co-op means we’re all in this together and we provide assistance and support to each other when we’re able.

SMECO foremen and former linemen provide assistance to hard-hit Lee County Electric Cooperative. From left: Steve Gardiner, Will Robertson, Jimmy Herbert, Blaise Higgs, and Joe Rhoads.