Public Service of New Hampshire (PSNH) line workers and support staff returned late Monday from Florida, where they assisted in the restoration of power that was lost due to damage caused by Hurricane Wilma.
An estimated 3.2 million Florida Power & Light Company customers lost power on Oct. 24 as a result of the hurricane, and the PSNH crews were part of a massive response by utility companies from all over the Eastern Seaboard, including PSNH’s sister companies, Connecticut Light and Power and Western Massachusetts Electric Company - all of which are subsidiaries of Northeast Utilities (NU).
For nearly two weeks, PSNH and other NU crews safely restored power, working mainly in and around Hollywood, north of Miami. “Our crews are highly trained,” said Division Operations Manager Mark Sandler who led the PSNH group. “They look at a situation and have a plan in mind. They’ve worked in many storm situations. It’s a way of life for these guys and it comes naturally to them.”
The PSNH deployment was part of a mutual aid effort that has in the past benefited the Granite State. Crews from Hydro Quebec in Canada, and crews from Niagara Mohawk in New York State assisted PSNH crews following a January, 1998 ice storm. PSNH crews have worked in Florida several times following hurricanes during recent years, and have also assisted customers in New York State, Pennsylvania, and Cape Cod, Massachusetts.