Lineman helps after outage in Washington

When a winter storm battered Washington State earlier this month, Bill Wilson of Summerland helped to restore the electrical power.

Bill Wilson

When a winter storm battered Washington State earlier this month, Bill Wilson of Summerland helped to restore the electrical power.

Wilson, who works as a lineman with the City of Penticton, was one of four Penticton workers who travelled to Washington to provide assistance.

He and fellow Summerlander Ryan Robillard were in the northern part of the state, along with other electrical workers from around British Columbia.

By the time they arrived, there was a 20-vehicle convoy of electrical workers, from many communities.

Wilson and Robillard left on Wednesday, Dec. 10, after work and were in Washington for five days.

“It was a great experience,” Wilson recalled. “It was the chance of a lifetime.”

Wilson and the other electrical utility workers assisted Puget Sound Energy.

The energy utility serves more than one million electrical customers in northwest Washington.

The storm left 170,000 electrical customers without power.

Restoring the electrical power was a big job. Wilson and the others worked long hours, with little down time, in the rush to restore the power.

The weather conditions were ideal, he said.

The storm’s high winds were over by the time the restoration work began and the workers had blue skies, sunshine and mild conditions as they reconnected the electrical power.

“They were appreciative of our work,” Wilson said.

Earlier this year, Wilson finished his apprenticeship as a lineman. Earlier, he had worked as an electrician.