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International Operating Engineer - Fall 2017

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The quarterly magazine of the International Union of Operating Engineers.

Feature Two more major

Feature Two more major hurricanes would impact the southern U.S. in September. Hurricane Irma first came ashore in the Florida Keys. The storm was so massive it spanned the width of the state, affecting both coasts as it moved north, and inflicted an estimated billion in damage from high winds and flooding. Ten days later, Hurricane Maria made a direct hit on Puerto Rico. The electrical grid was smashed, causing an island wide blackout. Along with severe damage to roads, bridges, the main port and airport, a serious humanitarian crisis quickly escalated. Answering the call for help, 36 Operating Engineers representing Locals 14, 15, 478 and 825 volunteered to fly down along with 300 other union first responders and skilled volunteers—including nurses, doctors, electricians, carpenters and truck drivers—to Puerto Rico to help with relief and rebuilding efforts. They spent two weeks on the ground helping local communities throughout the island. In October, Northern California wildfires erupted quickly and destroyed at least 8,400 homes and buildings. The bulk of the destruction took place in Santa Rosa, where the Tubbs fire ripped through major residential areas. More than 30 members of Local 3 lost their homes to the blaze, with hundreds more temporarily displaced by evacuations. The cleanup effort in California will take months to complete and as many as 500 Operating Engineers could be called upon as the rebuilding process ramps up. Clearing the burned out residential areas also comes with the added risk of exposure to toxic debris and ash. Most Operators will need the 40-hour HAZMAT certification, prompting Local 3 to run extra, concurrent training classes to provide enough certified Operators to meet the challenge. Despite personal hardships, IUOE members from all of these hard hit areas and beyond answered the call. The work has transitioned, from emergency response to recovery, but the need for skilled Operating Engineers has only grown. Millions of tons of debris must still be cleared and vital infrastructure repaired and replaced. PUERTO RICO CALIFORNIA PUERTO RICO [above] IUOE Local 15 members who traveled to Puerto Rico to assist in the recovery effort are pictured from left to right: Joseph McGrade, Santiago Linos (IUOE Local 825), Marie B. Sullivan, William Arroyo, Anthony Pierce, Lawrence Mirro, Sheldon Austin, Howard Mignott Jr., Dasolal Narine, Joseph James, Joseph Beksinski, Timothy Hornbeck, Rafael Greco, Randy Kral, and Joseph Bradley. [photos] Gonzalo Salvador, AFL-CIO [right, top] IUOE Local 3 Apprentice Zach Strickler removes debris from what was once the residential neighborhood of Coffey Park in Santa Rosa. [right,bottom] Argonaut Constructors Local 3 Operating Engineers Colby Noble and Raymond Vega provide cleanup for the prestigious Fountaingrove neighborhood in Santa Rosa. [photos] Mandy McMillen, IUOE Local 3 CALIFORNIA 14 INTERNATIONAL OPERATING ENGINEER FALL 2017 15

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