SPRINGFIELD, Mo.- In September, crews with Springfield City Utilities made the trip down to Florida to help those affected by Hurricane Ian.
Keith Kubik was part of that crew and shared with KOLR10 what they witnessed.
“Around 2:00 in the morning when the eye was going to come across Orlando, which would have put, you know, (the storm) as a category one and which it was, our hotel on the 23rd floor at the time and of course, then, you know, we’re sound asleep and all of a sudden you start hearing the window and the wind start really, you know, shaking and stuff,” Kubik said.
Kubik is no stranger to the world of utility work, a career he’s been in for nearly 40 years.
He says crews from outside the area had to work with local utility companies or co-ops before making repairs.
“As soon as we get out in our trucks, we have a bird dog, which is a person-like liaison who shows us around their town because we’re unfamiliar with the area,” Kubik said. “These guys have to go assess the damages of what’s going on in all the different areas and all we do is follow them around.”
Kubik says he was eager to answer the call for help.
“After 15 years being here to go to another hurricane where I’m from and got a lot of experience in hurricane restoration, it’s kind of like almost like a hometown for me being back down in the south,” Kubik added.
That hurricane 15 years ago was in New Orleans.
“When Katrina came, I lived in Slidell, Louisiana, at the time and worked for the power company down there. I’ve been here ever since for almost six years now.”
Kubik says helping in situations like this makes his job worth it.
“There’s gratitude when we’re here and they’re happy to see us and get their power back on,” Kubik said. “They start cheering when the power comes back on. it just puts a smile on everybody’s face, you know?”