They spent 2 weeks restoring electricity
A homecoming and thank-you ceremony was held Tuesday at Sky Harbor Airport for workers from APS and SRP to mark their return to the Valley after a voyage to the east coast in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.
100 utility workers and 50 trucks gathered at the Arizona Air National Guard hangar at Sky Harbor within 12 hours after a phone call was received from officials at Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) asking for assistance after the storm knocked down power lines that served hundreds of thousands of customers.
The crews and their equipment were ferried to Long Island on 18 National Guard transport planes. Once they arrived, they joined utility crews from around the country putting in 16-hour days and battling a wintry Nor'easter storm to put power poles back in place, re-string transmission lines, and make sure the electricity was restored to homes and businesses.
Kevin Keenan, an APS worker who grew up on Long Island and just moved to Arizona eight years ago, says the restoration project was much more difficult there than dealing with similar post-storm outages here. He told KFYI News that the rolling terrain and large number of trees presented a great challenge. Some hard-hit areas were inaccessible by truck, he said. And in many cases, trees and branches had to be dragged out of back yards simply to gain access to the electrical poles and lines – many of which were still live.
The CEOs of both companies were on hand to thank their workers for giving our state the chance to be present as part of the massive storm cleanup effort.
PHOTO: Workers from APS (left bleachers) and SRP (right bleachers) as well as National Guard members attended the ceremony at the Air National Guard hangar.