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Hundreds of power crews head north Tuesday

Posted October 30, 2012

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— As the remnants of Hurricane Sandy continue their slow trek through Pennsylvania and eventually upstate New York, southern power companies on Tuesday began sending hundreds of crews northward to help restore power to more than 6 million people without it in the hours after the superstorm made landfall. 

Exact power loss numbers for the whole region weren't available early Tuesday, but much of lower Manhattan in New York City and other heavily-populated areas in New Jersey and elsewhere were in the dark after the storm made landfall along the New Jersey coastline. Sandy Images: Superstorm Sandy roars into Northeast

Dozens of crews and more than 120 linemen from Georgia Power were staging at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds Tuesday morning, preparing for a trip to Baltimore.

Progress-Duke Energy will also send as many as 1,200 people north within the next 24 hours. Five-hundred employees from Progress Energy Florida will arrive in Virginia Tuesday to assist Dominion Power, and 500 crews from Duke Midwest will also travel east. 

As many as 240 contractors will also head to Virginia and the Mid-Atlantic area Tuesday, as power outages are expected to grow in the next two days as Sandy's remnants continue to dump heavy rain across several states. Some experts predict as many as 10 million customers could be without power by the time all is said and done. 

Reaching some of the hardest hit areas could be tough for crews, as flooded roadways on Long Island have made travel nearly impossible. Downed trees could also delay crews.

Snow in West Virginia, western Virginia and even North Carolina could also cause power outages, as some areas have seen multiple feet of snow since Sandy began impacting the area Sunday. Several counties in Western North Carolina were under a winter storm warning early Tuesday, and about 4,000 were without power in Henderson and Buncombe counties.

Sandy's remnants were expected to slowly move north through western Pennsylvania and upstate New York Tuesday and Wednesday, eventually crossing the U.S.-Canadian border late in the day Wednesday. The slow-moving storm could still dump several more inches of rain on already water-logged areas of the Northeast. 

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  • North Carolina Home Oct 30, 2012

    On a trip between the Triad & the Triangle today there were at least 100 trucks headed north.

    Remembering Hurricane Fran in Raleigh, I said a thankful prayer for all of them.

  • baldchip Oct 30, 2012

    These crews are worth their weight in gold. They work 18 hr days, eat little on schedule, miss families for weeks on end(irregardless of holidays), and on and on. Yes, they are bound to be very well paid-and they earn every dime of it.

    Crews from all over where in Eastern NC when Fran and Floyd visited in 96 and 99. And yes, they were a blessing. Now, it's our turn to provide help.

    Be safe guys!!

  • shortcake53 Oct 30, 2012

    Please stay safe as you help out all the people in the states hit hard. I know they will all be so glad to see your trucks pull up!

  • nopartyloyalty Oct 30, 2012

    Was driving 1-95 from Florida to NC on Monday. Saw many convoys of power company trucks and tree removing company trucks.

  • Worland Oct 30, 2012

    Every time a hurricane rumbles through NC, we lose power for at least 5 days due to fallen trees. That has always amused me since the staging area for the power company crews is less than a mile from my house.

    Hopefully folks up north won't have to suffer without power for as long as we do, but it looks as though this storm has made a 900 mile wide mess. Best wishes to the power crews. It's a very dangerous job, and they earn every dollar of their per diem.

  • SouthernBornSouthernBred Oct 30, 2012

    The Electric crews earn their dollar EVERY day. These are one of the most dangerous jobs out there. These guys/girls are state and/or federal certified. They are on call 24/7 no matter if it is a holiday. As far as making "bank" on the storms, if you call making overtime bank then yes they do. But they are also working 14-16 hour days. So before anybody bashes these guys let's appreciate the work that they do. Rain, or shine, sleet, or snow a LINEMAN will be there to restore your power. I'm not a lineman but I work with them everyday and they are an Elite profession!

  • Da Toy Maker Oct 30, 2012

    The people up North need this. Prayers out to all victims of this Storm.

  • rhess2 Oct 30, 2012

    It's too bad the type of cooperation power companies, Federal government and state governments display in times of disaster can't be duplicated in our Nation when there isn't a crisis. If it could the word 'compromise" in politics would no longer be a dirty word.

  • whatelseisnew Oct 30, 2012

    The folks on these traveling crews probably make a good buck on it, at least I hope they do. For sure, they more than earn each and every penny. They end up working in some miserable and dangerous conditions during these kinds of events.

  • whatelseisnew Oct 30, 2012

    "Progress is doing a great job up here. Our power went out last evening and within 30 minutes of calling them, it was back on. Never went back out."

    No complaints about the line crews. In the last couple of years however, my Progess power will go out during hard rain storms. Doesn't have to be any wind, just a hard rain. Not sure why, it did not used to be that way. Oddly enough, no power outage for me last night and I was expecting it to happen.

    The line crews really really earn their dollars during these types of events. They end up working in some very miserable conditions.

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