Answering the call for help from states devastated by Hurricane Katrina, NSTAR crews left the Bay State Wednesday to assist in restoring power in the storm-ravaged Gulf Coast. Twenty workers volunteered to make the trip after Alabama Power Company requested assistance in re-building the electric system in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The 16 line workers, two mechanics and two supervisors are scheduled to arrive in Birmingham, Alabama, Friday to help restore power, re-build electric infrastructure, and provide other aid in the areas hardest hit by the storm. Crews may be re-deployed to other areas also in dire need of help.
"This company has a long history of lending a hand when other regions are struggling and never before has our help been so needed," said NSTAR Chairman, President and CEO Thomas May. "I'm very proud of these workers for stepping forward. They are leaving their families to take on some very difficult conditions and I admire and appreciate them for that."
Alabama Power Company estimates Katrina is the worst storm in the company's history in terms of damage to the electrical system. NSTAR crews will be supporting restoration efforts that have already begun to hundreds of thousands of customers without power. Though the date of their return will be dictated by the progress of the work, crews are likely to be gone for several weeks.
"We've all seen the devastation on television and wanted to be able to help in some way," said Fred Baskin, an NSTAR line worker who has made the trip south for similar efforts in the past. "To see the people's faces when their power comes back on will make it all worth it."