Bill Perry is a long-time supporter of POWERGRID International as a public relations representative for the utility industry. After Hurricane Ida hit, he traveled to Houma, Louisiana to meet line crews, residents and tour the damage.
Perry said he has been working alongside Support Operations Services (SOS), a provider of electric and gas crews and logistical support for emergency power restoration. SOS is a subsidiary of MasTec, and SOS SVP of Operations Toby Mickalson arranged to have a semitrailer of food and supplies driven from one of his offices in Mesa, Ariz., to Houma and Golden Meadows, La., to help those in need here. Pitching in to help were partners Liberty Line Builders, P&G Power and SOS’s sister companies Intren and MasTec Utility Services Group.
While SOS and Toby were arranging the truck shipment, line crews from SOS, Liberty Line Builders and SOS’s sister companies Intren and MasTec Utility Services Group began a fundraising campaign. P&G Power matched the funds raised by these groups to add to the effort because they, too, have been shown such kindness by the people of southeast Louisiana.
Executives from P&G Power matched the line workers’ donation and presented a check for $100,000 to two disaster relief organizations called BStrong Foundation and Global Empowerment Mission.
The truck packed with food and supplies arrived last week and delivered its load to First Baptist Church of Golden Meadow and the Terrebonne Churches United Food Bank
“Within five minutes of our arrival in Houma just after Ida ended, a family from the area offered us food,” Mickalson said. “They suffered through the storm and didn’t have power, but they were here trying to make sure we were taken care of. And families continue to do that every day for our crews. We wanted to do something beyond line construction and return their generosity, so we organized the truck shipment.”
“We bought everything from Costco in Arizona because we didn’t want to disrupt the local supply chain for people in Louisiana,” added Mickalson.
Many of these folks told Perry that they will need help in the weeks and months ahead. Many people need washing machines and dryers for clothes. Donations of kitty litter are also helpful because it absorbs odors and moisture from appliances.
Roofers, electricians, tree trimmers and carpenters are just some of the trades people from around the country who could help the people in and near Houma rebuild their lives and homes.
Scroll through the photos below to see the work being done by SOS and partners. Photos are courtesy of Bill Perry.