Manager’s Message — April 2020
Thank You to Our Linemen
April 18 marks Lineman Appreciation Day across the U.S. It is our honor to celebrate the hard work, innovation and dedication of electrical lineworkers. Without them, we would not have many of the luxuries we have today because of electricity.
We often take power, and the men and women who provide it, for granted. Many of us were quickly reminded of this on the evening of March 13, when a massive storm came in from the north and wreaked havoc on NLI’s infrastructure. With sustained 30 mph winds and gusts of up to 60 mph, many trees were uprooted, tearing down lines and breaking poles. The storm caused more than 12,000 members to be without power, and there were 23 broken poles. NLI linemen, along with numerous contract crews, worked around the clock through the weekend in the worst possible conditions to restore power to these members.
I would like to thank all the members who experienced outages after this massive storm. Being without electricity is never easy, especially in frigid temperatures. Your patience means so much to us during these difficult times. I would also like to give a special thank you to the kind members who brought food to our line crews, and even the ones that gave a friendly wave or a thumbs up. These acts of kindness do not go unnoticed. Lastly, to the Northern Lights employees who worked tirelessly through the weekend, thank you for your hard work and dedication to NLI. It makes me proud to watch our employees come together during these emergency situations and work so diligently to restore power to our members.
National studies consistently rank power line work among the most dangerous jobs in the country, and for good reason. Laboring high in the air while wearing heavy equipment and working directly with high voltage, linemen are smart, brave and must always work safely and efficiently. They put their lives on the line 365 days a year under dangerous conditions to build, maintain and repair electric infrastructure. NLI’s linemen maintain more than 2,800 miles of power lines serving more than 20,500 accounts in northern Idaho, western Montana and a small piece of eastern Washington. Although beautiful, this terrain is rugged and remote. Our crews are standing by to serve NLI members around the clock to keep your power on and, if there is an outage, to restore it as soon as possible. Please take a moment to appreciate our local linemen, who go above and beyond, no matter the weather, to keep our lights on.