OUC’s Ida storm team, from left: Justin Restituyo, Line Tech I; Brian Barnett, Lead Line Tech; Zachary Brown, Line Tech II; Greg Fountain, Line Tech I; Craig Kemp, Line Tech III; Benjamin Sablain, Line Tech III; Justin Stanley, Line Tech II; Bodie Adkinson, Lead Line Tech; Alfred Jones, Fleet Mechanic; Salvador Magana, Apprentice Line Tech; Darin Boatright, Line Supervisor; and Patrick Gullotti, Line Tech II.

A 12-member OUC power restoration team left for Lafayette, La., Sunday morning, Aug. 29, 2021, as Hurricane Ida threatened to make landfall as dangerous Category 4 storm. The crew hoped to reach its destination late Monday after the storm has passed through, but it could be delayed by impassable road conditions.

A bucket truck leaves OUC’s Gardenia station for a road trip to Lafayette, La.

OUC deployed 11 powerline technicians and a fleet mechanic in response to Louisiana Utilities System’s request for mutual aid assistance. Municipal utilities lend power restoration teams to each other in times of emergencies to hasten repairs to damaged electrical grids. This deployment, OUC’s first during the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season, marks the second mission to Lafayette in less than a year. During the 2020 hurricane season, OUC sent power restoration line crews to Alexandria and Winnfield, La. (Hurricane Laura; August), Fairhope, Ala. (Hurricane Sally; September), Layfette (Hurricane Delta; October), and Gulfport, Miss. (Hurricane Zeta; November).

Line Supervisor Darin Boatright leads OUC’s Ida storm team, which is made up of two line crews. Lead Line Tech Bodie Adkinson’s crew includes Justin Restituyo, Line Tech I; Zachary Brown, Line Tech II; Patrick Gullotti, Line Tech II; and Salvador Magana, Apprentice Line Tech. Lead Line Tech Brian Barnett’s crews includes Greg Fountain, Line Tech I; Justin Stanley, Line Tech II; Craig Kemp, Line Tech III; and Benjamin Sablain, Line Tech III. Fleet Mechanic Alfred Jones maintains the team’s vehicles and power tools.