Lucy's name was Louise Gipe. (I had to look it up.) It's a very touching song about a brave woman.
There were several, Reicel Jones is the only other I have seen named. I found an article once that said there were 4 or 5 operators who stayed at their jobs. They got something like a $25 bonus for it.
Thanks for mentioning Louise Gipe and Reicel Jones here. When I googled, I found nothing, because what I was googling had "Lucy" in it. Now that I know to google "Louise Gipe" "Reicel Jones", I also find Althea Marks.Tim Griffin writes:"Lucy" is a composite character representing the Hello Girls (telephone switchboard operators) of Santa Paula who worked at their switchboards through the night to reach as many people as possible up and down the river and get them out of harm’s way, though they knew they too were in the path of the oncoming flood. When the flood reached Santa Paula it rose within a few feet of the switchboard office but left the Hello Girls unharmed; they continued making calls to warn the towns downstream even as chunks of concrete the size of houses rolled by.