Essential Workers Brave Conditions in Service of Others

NBCUniversal, Inc.

As many hunker down while conditions deteriorate, Oncor deployed 6,000 of its lineman along with 1,700 utility workers from out of state on 16-hour shifts to get the lights back on.

“What they're facing right now are treacherous road conditions, so they're having to drive slowly over ice. They're facing trees falling into lines covered in ice. They're also having to keep themselves warm, while they're performing this work,” said Communications Manager Kerri Dunn.

It’s a duty Dunn said they train for and one Oncor prepares for with personnel and resources prepositioned across the service territory.

"These are folks that live and work in these communities. So it's something that we take very personally, and we know that we're on it,” said Dunn.

They're among the essential workers, like TXDOT crews, first responders and postal workers, braving poor conditions in the service of others.

That includes caretakers like those at Dallas’s Nexus Recovery Center.

“The clients that are here need us,” said recovery advocate McKenna Dougherty.

Dougherty was among the 20 or so staff who camped on air mattresses in offices overnight to make sure treatment for clients recovering from addiction wouldn't be interrupted.

“We’ve prepared by getting food ready earlier in the week, and we have everybody helping out. People are cooking whenever they're typically in the dorms, working with the clients,” said Dougherty.

That includes salting, shoveling and doing whatever they can to keep them safe, just like Oncor linemen who continue to work around the clock.

To report an outage near you visit Oncor.com, call 888-313-4747 or text OUT to 66267.

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