New Richmond Utilities crew working to repair Sandy damage
New Richmond Utilities line repair workers are on the ground helping to restore power to storm-ravaged communities on the East Coast after Hurricane Sandy ripped through the region.
New Richmond Utilities dispatched two crew members and one bucket truck in response to a call for utility mutual aid.
The workers, Dean Anderson and Kevin Blader, departed on Saturday, Nov. 6, to restore the electric system in Tannersville, Penn. and Long Island, New York and will continue to help other communities on the East Coast with additional restoration efforts.
Anderson and Blader are working 16-hour days as they help out.
"The City of New Richmond and New Richmond Utilities is extremely proud of Dean and Kevin, as well as our entire utility department, for answering the call and heading east," said Mike Darrow, utility manager for New Richmond Utilities.
Darrow indicated that, in addition to the local crew, 12 other municipally-owned electric utilities from throughout Wisconsin have dispatched resources to aid in the much-needed restoration of power in the aftermath of Sandy.
Tom Rickard, electrical superintendent, said the two utilities workers will be in New York for as long as they are needed.
"The accommodations are really poor right now," Rickard said. "But you've got to kind of expect that, I guess. They slept in the truck last night (Monday)."
Cots have now been set up in a local shelter to accommodate some of the workers on scene, Rickard said.
Rickard said this is the first time a New Richmond Utilities crew has been dispatched out of state to help restore power. A crew from River Falls is also out east to help.
"It leaves everybody left here a little short-handed, but we're working closely with River Falls to cover for each other if needed," he said.