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He missed his son’s wedding to turn the lights back on in Florida

A screenshot of the tweet by Duke Energy spokesman Jeff Brooks with video of Jim LeBlanc, who missed his son’s wedding while helping restore power in Florida after Hurricane Irma.
A screenshot of the tweet by Duke Energy spokesman Jeff Brooks with video of Jim LeBlanc, who missed his son’s wedding while helping restore power in Florida after Hurricane Irma. TWITTER

A Duke Energy lineman missed his own son’s wedding to go to Florida and help restore power to residents in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

Jim LeBlanc from Raleigh has now responded to six hurricanes – including Sandy and Katrina – and said he was merely doing his job after Irma, according to WNCN.

“It’s very rewarding,” LeBlanc told the station. “That’s why I love linework. I can’t sing and dance too well, but I can perform linework safely, and not a lot of people can do this job safely.”

As for missing the wedding, LeBlanc told WNCN, “I told him before I left ... ‘Son, this is what we do. This is why God put us on this Earth. To restore power.’”

Duke Energy shared a video on Twitter of LeBlanc, who showed a photo confirming that his son got married Wednesday.

The tweet from the power company said, “Shout out to Jim, a #NC lineman restoring power in #FL. He missed his son’s wedding to get customers’ lights on after #Irma #ThankALineman.”

Duke Energy reported Thursday that power had been restored to 1 million customers in Florida. About the same time, some 150,000 customers were still without power in Pinellas County, where LeBlanc and his crew were located.

As of Friday morning, Duke Energy said 371,329 customers remained without power throughout Florida. On Thursday, Duke Energy reported 17,800 customers in the Carolinas still without power from Irma.

About 400 Duke Energy workers responding to the Florida outages are from the Triangle, WNCN reported.

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