(WAVY) — Lineworker Appreciation Day has a whole new meaning during the coronavirus pandemic as families spend more time at home.
Chesapeake Native and Dominion Energy Lineworker Wendell Young has been bringing and restoring power to communities for a decade.
“It’s a very prideful job. I like to stand back at the end of the day and see what I’ve done and know I’ve affected someone’s life,” said Young.
Young says the schedule of a lineman is demanding, especially for someone like himself who has a family. He has one son, and a daughter on the way.
“I’d say the hardest part is definitely being away from your family. There’s a lot of sacrifice in that but it’s very rewarding. I get to spend a lot of time helping a lot of people get their lights back on and it makes their day or their week. If you’re in Florida working on a hurricane, you turn that switch on, that air conditioner starts pumping, it makes their whole month almost,” Young said.
Young’s impact spans across the country as far south as Puerto Rico and as far north as New Jersey. He says by far the most devastation he saw was in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.
“We showed up five months after the hurricane had been through there and it looked like someone had gone through there with a bulldozer and pushed everything and we had to start over. All new poles, all new wires,” he recalled.
He says adjusting to a new power system and working tirelessly in the heat was hard work but made a big impact.
“It’s knowing I’m affecting the community in a way that’s positive,” Young said.
Young is now primarily working in Chesapeake where he grew up, which he says makes the job that much sweeter.
On Friday, Dominion Energy celebrated National Lineworker Day with a cookout with hamburgers and hot dogs.
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