It can be a thankless job - with long hours and plenty of dangers: work as a utility lineman. They’re some of the first to respond after a storm, restoring the power and bringing life back to neighborhoods. Many utility linemen from the Triad reported to Florida for duty following Hurricane Irma.
Both Victoria Lynch and Valerie Neal's husbands have been gone for more than a week now, helping folks affected by the Hurricane. Every day, they're restoring power for thousands. It's a grueling task - but they know the men are making a difference.
After the storm comes and goes, they're there to clean up its mess. And after Irma, Duke Energy lineman took their skills to the areas impacted.
“First, they went to South Carolina. They had to help them there, and then they moved down to Florida later in that week,” said Lynch.
Lynch's husband Christopher has been working sun up to sun down like the hundreds of other teams working right now. She hopes his work is appreciated.
“It's hot, they don't have AC. You know [people living there] probably if they have water damage or damage to their house, they need power to fix any problems. And I understand that. But these guys are doing the best that they can,” she said.
“You know, it is a stressful time being without power, and at the same time - people want what they want and feel like they are entitled,” said Neal.
Neal's husband Gregory is also a Duke Energy lineman. He's been at it for 30 years. She says the job is dangerous.
“I don't know if a lot of people really realize, when those wires are hot, it's hot,” she said.
And the work is non-stop.
“If he's on call, in Greensboro, it's long days. Sometimes he'll work more hours on call, overtime, then regular work hours,” Neal said.
Both wives are ready for their husbands to come back home. But right now - it's about helping others get their lives back to normal.