Pacific Gas and Electric Company has sent more than 150 employees to New York to help restore power in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Crews from all over PG&E’s Northern and Central California service area are at work in New York, including six from Rocklin, according to Brandi Ehlers, external communications representative for PG&E.
The crew left Oct. 30 out of Sacramento and are expected to be in New York for three weeks, said Ehlers, who could not release the workers’ names without their permission. Communicating is an issue at this time, she added, as cellphone service is spotty and the workers don’t have much downtime.
“Providing support to other utilities throughout the nation during major natural disasters is one of the hallmarks of PG&E and the electric utility industry,” said Geisha Williams, executive vice president of electric operations. “The men and women of PG&E are proud to help restore power to the victims of Hurricane Sandy, who are expected to experience widespread and long-term outages. We pulled crews from throughout our service area so that we can continue to provide safe, reliable and affordable electric service to our customers here in California while also providing critical restoration assistance in New York.”
Many utility companies in the storm’s projected path are calling upon extra workers and resources from across the country through the industry’s Mutual Aid Network. PG&E is part of the network of U.S. utilities that call on one another to assist in power restoration efforts after major events like hurricanes, winter storms and wildfires.
PG&E has coordinated with Edison Electric Institute, the association of U.S. shareholder-owned electric companies, and the Mutual Aid Network to determine where its assistance would be most beneficial. PG&E resources will assist Con Edison in New York City and Westchester County.
PG&E sent overhead and underground maintenance and construction crews, electric first responders who determine the cause of an outage and how best to restore power and damage assessment personnel. The utility also sent logistics support and field safety personnel.
As many as 10 states along the Eastern Seaboard – Virginia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Connecticut, as well as Washington, D.C., - have declared states of emergency. Additionally, New Jersey, New York, Delaware and Connecticut have announced evacuations in certain parts of their states.
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