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Turning the lights back on: A thank you to linemen

"I heard a lot of people compare this storm to the 1991 ice storm," said Wolfe.

Posted: Apr 17, 2019 6:55 AM
Updated: Apr 17, 2019 7:17 AM

ALBERT LEA, Minn. - From cookies to home-cooked meals, those working to restore power are getting a warm welcome from the city of Albert Lea.

Matthew Estes works at the Country Inn and Suites by Radisson. He and his coworker helped set up a welcome table for the linemen who stayed at his hotel.

“We put out snacks that they can take with them,” said Estes.

He added that they have been working around the clock to make sure that the linemen are comfortable in their temporary home.

"They are away from their family and friends and they don’t get the comforts of home,” said Estes. “We have been opening up our breakfast early so they can get hot food in the morning if they wish. Also, we provide a hotel meal for them at night.”

Rob Wolfe works for Freeborn Mower Cooperative Service. He says when last week’s storm hit they had to reach out for help. Immediately about 125 linemen hopped in their trucks and traveled to southern Minnesota to work a difficult job.

"I heard a lot of people compare this storm to the 1991 ice storm," said Wolfe.

About 500 poles were damaged in Freeborn County and Mower County.
Estes says that the damage is so bad that many of the linemen have extended their stay.

"They’re coming in and showering and maybe getting a nap and then heading back out. They are working around the clock," said Estes.

“It is really not a question of if you can do it but everybody just comes together and does it," said Wolfe.

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