December 7, 2012
Southwestern Helps Restore Power After Hurricane Sandy
|Line crews from Southwestern repair
distribution lines in Tom's River, New Jersey,
following Hurricane Sandy.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in early November 2012, Southwestern Power Administration sent several line, substation, and right-of-way brush crews and 30 pieces of heavy equipment to help restore the electrical grid along the coast of New Jersey near where the storm made landfall.
At the request of the Department of Energy and under the direction of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), personnel from Southwestern's maintenance facilities in Gore, Oklahoma; Jonesboro, Arkansas; and Springfield, Missouri, mobilized on November 2, 2012, to join crews from Western and Bonneville power marketing administrations (PMAs) to assist FirstEnergy Corporation in some of the hardest hit areas of the Garden State. The Southwestern team, including 13 linemen, 10 equipment operators, and eight substation electricians, as well as management and logistics personnel, met up in Effingham, Illinois, and traveled to New Jersey in a mile-long convoy of boom trucks, bucket and line trucks, and other vehicles, including two pole trucks carrying 26 sixty-foot wooden poles.
"Our mission was to provide any assistance requested of us by FEMA," says Carlos E. Valencia, Director of the Division of Maintenance, who led Southwestern's team. "Even before we arrived, and especially during the recovery efforts, we had daily conference calls with representatives from FEMA, Bonneville, Western, and FirstEnergy, regarding the directions to follow and the safety and progress of our crews." Expand/Collapse