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SoCal Edison crews getting ready to head to East Coast

October 31, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Help is on the way to New Yorkers left in the dark in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. On Wednesday, Southern California Edison began mobilizing its equipment and crews it plans on sending to the East Coast.

"We've gassed our trucks up, we've tied them all down, we've done all the logistics to move them on lowboys," said Ed Antillon of Southern California Edison.

SoCal Edison is providing assistance to Consolidated Edison, known as Con Ed, under a mutual aid agreement. More than 200 employees and contractors will deploy to areas hardest hit in New York and New Jersey.

In an attempt to lessen storm damage, Con Ed cut power to about 6,500 customers in lower Manhattan Monday. But as Sandy roared in, transformer explosions knocked out more power.

"If you can imagine the devastation there is in New York, what we're doing is they're asking us to send, literally, self-contained work groups," Antillon said.

To get the lights back on, Edison is sending 16 four-person crews and support personnel, along with tree trimmers and electrical workers.

"It's always a pleasure and pride in our job to fulfill our duty to go over and help people in times like this," said foreman Mark Johnson, who will be leading one of the crews.

Millions of people are still without electricity as a result of the storm. The utility company believes it will be able to restore power to customers served by underground electrical equipment in four days. For those served by overhead power lines, they'll wait up to a week - a task which will require a lot of outside help.


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