TNMPeople

November 2015: Meet Dustin, who drove home to help restore power

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TNMPeople is a monthly feature to introduce you to our folks behind the poles, wires and meters.

A couple traditions Dustin knows well are:

  • camping with about a dozen family members at Lone Star Jellystone Park at Halloween.
  • getting called in to work when a big storm hits TNMP's service area.

Dustin experienced both for Halloween 2015, although he missed out on most of the fun his family enjoyed while he was helping to restore power around Friendswood after big storms rolled through.

Trip interrupted

He'd arrived at Jellystone, about 75 miles away in Waller, around 8 p.m. on Friday, then set up his camper and situated his family.

"We usually go out there for Halloween for the kids. We do a big Halloween family thing out there – which they got to enjoy!" he says, laughing.

The phone call he was expecting came around 5 a.m.

"I kind of figured (TNMP supervisors) were going to be calling people," Dustin says. "The storm was fierce up in Waller, too. I knew if it was getting it up there, it was probably pretty bad here."

Back on the job

A line of storms that included at least two tornadoes knocked out power to 8,600 customers in TNMP's service area, creating work that lasted for days before everyone could be restored. TNMP crews from throughout the Gulf Coast and as far as Clifton worked to restore power.

"When I got back, we went straight out," he says. "It wasn't even over. We ended up getting caught in what I think was another touchdown.

"The wind was blowing so badly. There was a tree that blew over about 15 or 20 yards from the bucket truck we were in."

He spent most of Saturday assessing damage and helping to set poles in backyards in the Anna Alea neighborhood that suffered the most damage.

By the time he returned to his family late Saturday night, all the fun had ended at Jellystone. He viewed photos and videos of his kids trick-or-treating and his father going down a water slide.

Dustin brought his family home Sunday morning, then went back to work.

"This is what we do for our children," he says. "We do dangerous work, and we do it for our kids."

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