Trouble Man

I always knew Rudy could be trouble :-), but I didn’t know someone had written a song about him and his brethren.

Just found this video of a song called “Trouble Man” – a tribute to lineworkers. The songwriter, a woman from PA, wrote the song after Hurricane Irene last year, but didn’t make it into a video until Superstorm Sandy.

The convoy got to Harrisburg PA Mon. night. The parking lot of the motel was filled with the rigs of other workers also headed to help out with storm recovery. Rudy saw linemen from AZ and MT that he’s met at training or other jobs. A forestry crew from Seeley Lake MT (which is where his good friend used to live and where we went to get married). Some of the guys had been on other big storm jobs like this before, and made suggestions of supplies the guys might want to pick up before they left town. Like flip flops for the showers, so you don’t get plantar’s warts or athelete’s foot. Extra food since they still don’t know what the living conditions will be. So they went shopping before getting some rest for the night.

This morning, Rudy texted me that they would be staying in Harrisburg one more night until all the arrangements had been made for their arrival. An hour later, they had new orders. They were leaving today, heading for Oceanport NJ. On the map below, the top marker is Hoboken, where they originally were told they were going. The bottom marker is Oceanport. See where it says Tom’s River down near the bottom? My mom lives about 10 miles west of there.

They met up with 5 more guys from the Fargo, ND crew, so now their caravan is up to 15 rigs. We’ve heard there is a large encampment of utility workers at the Monmouth Park Racetrack, which is near Oceanport. Perhaps this will be Rudy’s home for the near future? I found a blog today with photos from the racetrack. Many of them are of the horses/stables, but if you scroll down you will see the staging area and tents.

http://thetdnblog.blogspot.com/2012/11/in-photos-monmouth-park-stands-strong.html

Rudy called me at 3:30 EST – they had arrived! Here is satellite view of the racetrack, courtesy of Google Maps. Rudy said he is in the south parking lot, which is full of trucks and equipment, and he can see the tents set up more to the northwest in another parking lot. Their foreman went to find out where they are supposed to ‘check into their rooms’. I told Rudy not to expect room service in this ‘hotel’!

Convoy

They made it as far as Altoona IA Sat. night. Four more crews were meeting them there from other parts of SD. There are 10 vehicles traveling together in a convoy – line trucks, cranes, bucket trucks, a bobcat (that’s on a trailer – I’d hate to drive a Bobcat that far!!) and I’m not sure what else – those were the ones I could make out in the photos that Rudy sent me Sun. morning just before they hit the road again:

They spent Sun. night in Reynoldsburg OH. I think they drove about 650 miles. Here they are fueling up again this morning in Reynoldsburg:

Plans seem to change minute by minute. I can’t imagine the amount of coordination it takes to get all the people and equipment and supplies in the right places at the right time. Today they are heading to Harrisburg PA, which is apparently a staging area until they are needed in NJ. They’re not sure if they will spend some time there, or continue on to NJ tonight. There is talk that they may be housed in a racetrack or soccer stadium that has 4000 beds set up – a ‘man camp’ Rudy calls it. Time will tell……

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