SRP, APS sending crews to East Coast


by Andrew Michalscheck

Video report by Crystal Cruz

Posted on November 2, 2012 at 7:00 AM

Updated Friday, Oct 18 at 1:26 AM

PHOENIX -- Salt River Project and Arizona Public Service are lending a helping hand to the victims of Hurricane Sandy.

SRP and APS have announced that they will be sending a combined 21 line crews and support staff to New York to help the Long Island Power Authority restore power.

SRP will be sending 62 employees equipped with line trucks, hole diggers, and wire pulling equipment. APS will be sending 36 employees equipped with bucket trucks and boom trucks.

“Utilities in the United States have a long history of working together when needed,” said Vince Featherly with SRP. “We realize how difficult the situation is there for the utilities and their customers, and we’re happy to help in any way we can.”

According to APS spokesman Damon Gross, the work crews will be doing is similar to what they do after a monsoon storm here at home -- only on a much larger scale.

Millions of people on the East Coast have been without power since Hurricane Sandy’s arrival on Monday. LIPA reported that more than 1 million of their customers were without power at the storm’s peak.

SRP and APS’ employees are expected to stay on the East Coast for up to two weeks.

The Arizona Air National Guard is handling the transportation for the SRP and APS teams.

"It does look a little bit like a military deployment," said Arizona Air National Guard spokesman Paul Aguirre. "We're used to this. This is what we do. We respond to disasters and bring some relief. ... Doing it with APS and SRP, it's kind of gratifying to know our civilian partners here in the community are also assisting restoring power back East."

Guardsmen have been working through the night to prepare the equipment and vehicles for transport aboard military cargo planes that are flying in from all over the country. It could take up to three days to get everything packed up and shipped out.

Raw video: Crews load APS vehicle onto cargo plane

Line, bucket trucks loaded up for flight to East Coast