Irma vs. Elvis

President Trump and Florida Governor Rick Scott, along with hardworking Americans, deserve a lot of credit for what has been done in Florida after Hurricane Irma.

According to the Edison Electric Institute, at Irma’s peak on Sept. 11, 2017 there were more than 7.8 million Floridians experiencing a disruption in electric service. With the help of mutual assistance, more than 97 percent of impacted residents have had service restored.

This was the largest power restoration effort in U.S. history, with 60,000 coming to Florida to work.
Here’s what one Floridian said:

There are still areas in Florida where the power grid is being rebuilt and restored, however the vast majority of the work in SWFL (Marco Island, Naples, Bonita Springs, Fort Myers, Sanibel, Cape Coral, Collier and Lee Counties) is finished. At this stage of completion the power and tree crews who came to assist head back to their home state and region. Many of them began that trek home today.

There is no way to adequately outline the dedication we have witnessed in the impact zone from these incredible men and women and their traveling support groups. Unless you actually witness them in action it’s indescribable. Working 24/7 for two straight weeks, through intense blistering heat, through storms and sheet-rain, through the darkest nights, these crews were jaw-droppingly dedicated to the recovery effort; and this was no-where near home for them.

When I think of them leaving their families for weeks… of them wading through filth and muck to reach the hardest of areas… of the saltwater marsh up to their necks with equipment held over their heads… of the grit and determination…. of the callouses in every handshake and hug… of the colors of every helmet…. day-after-day, night-after-night no quit… well, I ain’t a tender person but damn if their sheer effort just doesn’t drop me to tears of appreciation.

Blazin’ chainsaws… solutions on the fly… engineering stuff and building it with a level of calloused ingenuity that would strike fear into any adversary questioning the strength and backbone of America.

I ain’t kidding you folks, sometimes we just stood there in awe… and we don’t do ‘awe’ easily. These weeks we walked with men whose grit and determination was stunning. The absolute unheralded, and generally invisible, pride of this nation.

Thunder-buckets of gratitude.

These are the people the NFL and NBA players are insulting by taking a knee. Let’s throw in the military, too.

But that’s not the point of this article.

Remember in 2003 when Hurricane Elvis blew through Memphis? Hundreds of thousands of people were left without power. Did our governor or mayor exercise the same amount of aid that Floridians got? Hardly. Mayor Herenton hightailed it to Little Rock.

It took at least 21 days before power returned to everyone. And that was just one moderately sized city. Trump and co. fixed it for a state with millions of people.

I wouldn’t doubt that we had as many or more deaths than they did. There are always the deaths afterwards that don’t show up in the immediate numbers, such as elderly who experience the trauma and die of ancillary but related causes.

It just shows what leadership can accomplish and the high price of incompetence.

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