A series of Caribbean islands, including Saint Martin and Tortola were hit especially hard and the island of Barbuda was left empty of people for the first time in 300 yeas as winds as strong as 185 mph shook houses to ruin and turned busy streets into raging rivers.
After tearing a path of mayhem through Cuba, the Category 5 storm slammed into southern Florida and has since impacted millions of homes and businesses.
These storms can take almost everything from the people they hit, including their lives, and everyone should take a minute to offer thoughts to those 44 people who perished in Irma’s wake. However, while winds can shake loose concrete foundations and rip trees from their roots deep soil, the one thing a storm can never shake is human kindness.
For this, the Oshawa Power and Utilities Corporation should be commended by all in Oshawa.
Priority one following any storm such as this is always food and water, which are essential in such a disaster relief, but one key component to recovery is the restoration of power.
In Florida, it’s estimated that approximately 7.2 million homes and businesses were left without electricity in multiple states after the storm. For that reason, Florida Power and Light, the utility equivalent to Ontario’s Hydro One, dispatched 19,500 workers to focus on the recovery effort. However, it’s not enough, and they’ve since called for help.
The OPUC has answered the call and sent a trio of workers to help in the recovery effort, and while not strong in numbers, it equates to a large percentage of the OPUC’s qualified staff, and they should be applauded for stepping up and giving what they can to Florida in this time of need.
The workers have been in place for over a week now, and initial reports are of nothing but destruction. It’s estimated the recovery will take a considerable amount of time, and this team from our local utility deserves praise for putting their lives on hold to step into this tragic and dangerous situation.