Crossroads AEP workers help restore lights after Sandy
Even before the storm had roared into the East Coast, emergency crews were assembling to lend a hand.
American Electric Power sent 81 employees to West Virginia to help AEP Appalachian Power Co. restore power in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
About 20 of the people sent to help out are from the Crossroads area, Elgin Janssen, AEP community affairs manager, said.
"The relief is just a massive undertaking," he said.
The crews went in two groups that met in Victoria before heading up north to help put the utilities back in order once the storm had passed. The first group left on Saturday and the second left on Monday.
Janssen said the crews timed their departures so that they would arrive just outside the area where the hurricane was set to hit after the storm had already rolled through.
AEP also released 38 contract crews to help restore power. In all, impacted utilities companies have requested more than 20,000 relief workers to help put utilities back in order after the storm, Janssen said. AEP participates in a mutual assistance agreement to send workers after a major storm hits, Janssen said.
The crews sent to help out in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy were told to expect to be there for about two weeks. They were slated to arrive in the area sometime Tuesday and will stay just outside where the hurricane struck until a damage assessment has been made and they can be directed to where they are most needed, Janssen said.
"We do the same thing in our area, asking for help when we've been hit like that," Janssen said. "They count on us, and we know that we can count on them when we need help."