Hurricane Sandy Call-Out
On October 29, 2012, the Northeastern United States was hit with the largest Atlantic hurricane on record. High winds, heavy rain, and flash-flooding all contributed to crippling the area’s power systems.
Having responded to emergency calls before, PowerTel was contacted well in advance of the storm by American LDCs. Freeing up 24 Powerline workers and 12 pieces of equipment, and some additional support from Grid Link out of Thunder Bay, crews assembled and crossed the border before the storm hit.
PowerTel-managed crews spent 23 grueling days, working in excess of 16 hours each day to restore power to those in need. At times having to spend the night in crowded gymnasiums and even in their trucks, our lineworkers’ knowledge of the relief they were bringing to the area kept spirits high in tough conditions.
Initially assisting Green Mountain Power in Vermont, PowerTel crews continued south as they restored power to welcoming citizens. Through the State of New York for Central Hudson Gas & Electric and New York State Electricity & Gas, and then onto Long Island for Long Island Power Authority and National Grid, the storm’s devastation grew worse as the crews approached New York City. The impact on distribution systems was unprecedented. PowerTel crews replaced poles, crossarms, conductor, switches, transformers, house services – energized and de-energized; virtually every aspect of the power system feeding communities was tackled.
Despite the long hours, the lack of rest, the downed trees, the closed roads, and the entire neighbourhoods in need of total system reconstruction, PowerTel workers rose to the task at hand. Thank you PowerTel crews for the job well done!
Related interviews and articles:
- Sudbury Star article “Long days for Linemen” – Interview with PowerTel Director of Operations Mike Krueger
- “WCAX.com article “Rutland braces for Sandy” – Interview with PowerTel Lineman Nick Gatien
- tbnewswatch article “Restoring power” – Interview with PowerTel Apprentice Kevin Bil
- Bedford Fire Department article “Hurricane Sandy Brings Bedford to a Standstill” – Published images of PowerTel crews restoring power
- Long Island Power Authority & National Grid Letter of Appreciation
- Hand-written Letter of Appreciation (Sudbury Star)
- CBC Points North radio interview with PowerTel Lineman Chris Gatien