Salt River Project and Arizona Public Service are sending a combined 21 line crews and support staff to New York to assist the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) in restoring power in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
SRP is sending 62 employees (including 11 four-person line crews and 12 substation electricians) equipped with line trucks, hole diggers and wire pulling equipment. APS, meanwhile, will send 36 employees (including 10 three-person line crews) equipped with bucket trucks and boom trucks. The two organizations’ contingent also includes crew support and safety personnel.
The trucks – and a limited number of personnel from the two utilities – are scheduled to depart Friday sometime after 6 a.m. via military air transport from the Arizona Air National Guard, located at 3200 E. Old Tower Road Phoenix, AZ 85034. The remaining SRP and APS employees are scheduled to depart from Williams Gateway Airport in Mesa at approximately noon Friday.
Millions of East Coast residents have been without power since the storm hit on Monday. LIPA alone reported more than 1 million customers without power at the height of the storm. Many customers are expected to be without electricity for as long as 10 days and perhaps longer.
“Utilities in the United States have a long history of working together when needed,” said Vince Featherly, SRP’s senior director of Distribution Design, Construction & Maintenance. “We realize how difficult the situation is there for the utilities and their customers, and we’re happy to help in any way we can.”
“A safe, reliable supply of electricity is vital to any community, and we are prepared to help Long Island customers get back to their regular lifestyle,” said Daniel Froetscher, APS Vice President of Energy Delivery. “Our thoughts are with those whose lives have been impacted by Hurricane Sandy.”
It is anticipated that crews will stay in the area for as long as two weeks, the two utilities said.
SRP is the largest provider of power to the greater Phoenix area, serving more than 950,000 electric customers.
APS, Arizona’s largest and longest-serving electricity utility, serves more than 1.1 million customers in 11 of the state’s 15 counties. With headquarters in Phoenix, APS is the principal subsidiary of Pinnacle West Capital Corp.