• December 11, 2018

Local Oncor employee leads Hurricane Michael restoration - Odessa American: Business

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Local Oncor employee leads Hurricane Michael restoration

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Posted: Sunday, November 4, 2018 5:30 am

Megan Stoub said she would never forget the devastation that she saw when she arrived in Florida after Hurricane Michael.

She is the West Texas Distribution Manager at Oncor and was tasked with leading mutual storm restoration efforts in both Georgia and Florida. She was advised to be prepared for the unexpected.

“Our team was approximately 100-105 people and that consisted of management, supervisors, logistics, security, our Oncor crews as well as our contract crews that were kind of embedded within our team,” Stoub said.

She said an administrator was the only other person aside from herself that was from the West Texas site, but a number of employees from Oncor’s southeast region and metro regions assisted as well. Teams from across Texas met in Meridian as a midpoint on Oct. 11 before making the two-day drive to a location near northern Georgia, outside of the hurricane’s path.

“We spent two full days in Georgia,” she said. We didn’t really see the devastation as much until we started south toward Florida. When we made it down to Florida, there were roads that were completely blocked by trees that had been uprooted.”

Stoub said upon arrival in Florida, they were assigned a complete feeder line, or network of smaller lines that supply power to consumers.

“Power was out in a lot of places so stop lights and traffic signals created some traffic challenges,” Stoub said. “Security helped us a lot while we were working in the streets trying to keep traffic safe for us to keep working because a lot of the feeder we were assigned was right on one of the main roads in Panama City.”

Hurricane Michael left extensive damage and extended power outages from Florida to Virginia, and more than 1.5 million homes and businesses lost power at the height of the outages, an Oncor press release stated.

“Some of the customers we were able to restore service to had been without power for a week and a half,” Stoub said. “It was a pretty expansive restoration effort by utilities across the entire nation. A kid came up and offered an employee a honey bun because he was so excited to see us in the area working to restore power.”

Others in the community showed their appreciation by providing gumbo and barbecue for the workers.

Stoub is the first woman to lead mutual restoration efforts at this level, but she said she does not put too much thought into it. She said she grew up near Waco and has always had a passion for math and science. She went to Texas Tech University and studied electrical engineering, where she said there were only 5-10 women in her graduating class.

“There are times when it’s pretty apparent that I’m the only female in the room,” she said. “Even now, the industry is pretty male dominated. I just try to do the best job that I can.”

During the restoration, Stoub said they put in 16 hours of work each day.

“We started every morning at 5:30 a.m. and ended around 9:30 p.m.,” she said. “There were some tired mornings, but I think everybody was excited to have the opportunity to help the customers and people of Georgia and Florida. It made the long hours worth it.”

Stoub said she has always sought to build both a professional and personal network of support to help her through the challenges that present themselves. She said she was thankful to have her husband’s encouragement, and using Facetime to keep in touch with her family lifted her spirits when days were difficult.

“I do have two daughters,” she said. “One is nine months and one is two and a half, so it was obviously rough being away for two weeks.”

Stoub said Oncor completed the thousands of miles travelled, long days and all of their restoration efforts with zero incidents to report.

“I felt proud of the work that the team accomplished and they did a tremendous amount of work in that period of time,” she said.

Odessa Oncor Area Manager Sue Mercer said she was also proud of Stoub.

“Oncor has excellent employees,” Mercer said. “We have some people that have moved into leadership roles and they’re going to be leading the company in the future. The experience that she’s gained through this has been paramount to the roles that she’s going to step into in the future.”

Odessa, TX

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