The Veridian, Ajax, Ontario, Canada, crew dispatched to Long Island, New York to assist in the power restoration efforts in the wake of Hurricane Sandy returned home earlier today. The eight linemen departed for the United States on Nov. 3, joining approximately 400 electricity distribution workers from 25 Ontario utilities to restore power to communities devastated by Sandy.
Veridian's crew assisted Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) and National Grid to help restore service to their 370,000-plus customers who lost power when Hurricane Sandy ripped through much of the northeast coast of the U.S., leaving severe damage in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Sandy and the Nor'easter storm that followed required the largest restoration effort in LIPA's history.
"On behalf of Veridian's Board of Directors, I would like to applaud and thank the crew who went above and beyond the call of duty to help turn the lights back on for thousands of families," said Chair Doug Dickerson. "These individuals sacrificed time away from family and friends; slept in their utility vehicles and on cots in a local church; and worked long hours in unfamiliar territory, hazardous conditions and extreme weather. The Veridian family has some very special people."
Veridian's President and CEO Michael Angemeer praised the crew for their efforts, saying "I'm extremely proud of these individuals who came together - without hesitation - in a time of need to assist our neighbors to the south. I personally received messages of appreciation from families, expressing their gratitude for the crew of extremely compassionate, polite and talented men who restored power in storm ravaged areas. There was one particular message from a parent of two special needs children and an infant that spoke volumes on the difference our crew made on Long Island."
Peter Petriw, Veridian's Vice President of Engineering, recognized staff who here at home continued to provide the usual level of system reliability for customers. "While providing support to those in the storm stricken areas in the northeast U.S., we did not jeopardize local service in the process and for this the staff that stayed behind needs to be recognized as well."
According to LIPA, they have completed restoration for those customers who can safely receive power; however, there are still customers who remain unable to safely receive power in the flood-damaged areas along the south shore of Long Island and Rockaway Peninsula.
U.S. officials reported that at its peak, Hurricane Sandy knocked out power to 9.6 million customers in the northeastern U.S.
Veridian's restoration crew: Joe Lonsberry, Field Supervisor, Belleville; Rob Kocot, Lead Lineperson, Ajax; Mike Atkinson, Lineperson, Ajax; Brian Gardiner, Lineperson, Ajax; Barry Padgett, Lineperson, Ajax; Chris Peroff, Lineperson, Ajax; Vern Runnalls, Lineperson, Belleville; and Frank Luscher, Lineperson, Clarington.