Vietz, crew foreman and “hero,” retires after 41 years
Linemen are sometimes considered heroes because, at times, they work in dangerous conditions for long hours to restore electric service after a snow and ice storm. To residents in the Sandy River Drive development in northwest Bismarck, Capital Electric Cooperative Crew Foreman Les Vietz is a hero — because he helped save their homes during the flood of 2013.
Vietz, a dedicated cooperative employee for 41 years, is retiring Feb. 1.
When the Missouri River spilled over its banks and began pooling, residents relied on sand bags and sump pumps to protect their homes. The water eventually flooded transformers, vacuum fault interrupters and miles of underground conductor, and the Sandy River Drive development lost power for 10 days. More than 20 homes lost electric service, jeopardizing pumping efforts and requiring expensive replacement generators for power.