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Line crews encountered challenges, kindness cleaning up after Sandy

From the January 14, 2013 issue of Public Power Daily

Originally published January 14, 2013

By Laura D'Alessandro
Integrated Media Editor
Kevin McHugh lives and works in Arizona. But the Salt River Project working foreman is a native of Brooklyn. So when he arrived on Long Island as a member of SRP’s mutual aid crew after Hurricane Sandy hit, it was personal.
"This job was near and dear to me," McHugh told Alice Clamp for an article forPublic Power magazine. "I have relatives who were affected by the storm, including a brother-in-law in the Rockaways." 

Sixty SRP staff were among the thousands of workers who arrived on Long Island to help restore power after the Oct. 30, 2012, super storm tore through—and tore up—the region. An estimated 12,000 line crews from more than 150 cities traveled to Long Island.

Crews from the Midwest and the South drove their trucks to the East Coast, while those from the West flew—by military transport aircraft and charter planes. "Our National Guard did a tremendous job of flying us out," said Bret Marchese, SRP’s distribution and transmission line maintenance manager. "It must have been a logistical nightmare for them."

Together, mutual aid crews from several states throughout the nation worked to restore power in the devastated region where they encountered unexpected challenges tempered by equally unexpected kindness. Their stories are told in a Public Power magazine article, "Mutual Aid for Long Island." The article is posted on

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