Tdworld 1430 Henkels Mccoy Crews Sandy

Partners Respond during Superstorm Sandy

March 1, 2013
In the face of adversity, our industry perseveres.

When the wind and waves from Superstorm Sandy crashed along the East Coast's Atlantic shores, the electric utilities' supply chain of workers, materials and supplies experienced enormous strain. Without hesitation, vendor partners and service providers ramped up to meet the need. Working together, the industry persevered.

In the days prior to the superstorm's landfall, manufacturers, contractors, tree trimmers, electric utility workers and suppliers geared up for the storm. While utilities in the storm's path activated their emergency-response plans, mobilized their employees, contacted their mutual-assistance networks and battened down their systems, their partners also swung into action, activating their emergency-response teams to move troops and materials.

These contractor and vendor teams set up communications networks between their various divisions and the utilities, which ensured all requests for materials could be expedited. Factories, warehousing systems and transportation facilities were properly staffed to meet the impending demand.

These responders put their lives on hold for weeks to remove trees, trim limbs, and rebuild transmission and distribution systems in the storm-ravaged area. Incoming contract crews and line crews from other utilities formed long convoys trekking to the storm areas through high winds and drenching rains. They knew that millions of people in the storm's path would be depending on them to restore power.

The Edison Electric Institute estimated that more than 67,000 line workers, tree trimmers, engineers, technicians and support personnel came from all corners of the country to restore power in the affected area. Utility workers and contractors came in waves from more than 41 states and from Ontario and Québec in Canada.

Line contractors and tree-trimming crews — including Henkels & McCoy, Quanta Services, MYR Group, UtiliCon Solutions Ltd., Michels Power, Asplundh Tree Expert Co., Davey Tree Expert Co., Townsend Corp. and many others — were heading into the storm when everyone else was heading away from it.

Tens of Thousands of Crews

Quanta deployed more than 600 crews with associated line and bucket trucks to work for 12 utility customers in nine storm-impacted states, where they worked to restore electrical infrastructure damaged by Sandy. Quanta's North American footprint allowed for resources to be driven and flown in from as far away as California and the Pacific Northwest, including Canada. Crews consisted of transmission and distribution personnel, storm assessors and substation support.

Approximately 500 personnel from Henkels & McCoy's east and central regions were dispatched to restore power for multiple utilities across New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, New York and West Virginia. Its restoration and cleanup effort involved the deployment of 352 pieces of equipment, including aerial-lift devices, digger derricks, pole trailers, backyard machines, dozers, dump trucks and boom trucks.

Henkels & McCoy personnel put their lives aside to travel and help with the restoration effort. Ryan Crull, director of central region power operations of Henkels & McCoy, said, “I'm grateful for these individuals giving their time to help restore some form of normalcy to the lives of residents affected by Hurricane Sandy. I'm also very proud of these crews for braving the harsh conditions and working long hours, all the while getting through the restoration effort injury-free.”

Ahead of Hurricane Sandy's landfall, the construction subsidiaries of UtiliCon Solutions Ltd. brought in more than 400 additional line workers, but it was quickly apparent more crews would be needed to help restore power. UtiliCon's storm personnel peaked at more than 1,100, which included 700 additional employees who were brought in from UtiliCon operations as far away as Louisiana to assist 16 different utilities that had requested help. As the crews finished restoration on utilities less affected by Sandy's wrath, many of them migrated to harder-hit utilities in northern New Jersey and Long Island, New York.

Despite long hours, strange food and accommodations, missing out on Election Day and working in a snowy nor'easter on Nov. 7, 2012, UtiliCon employees completed their work safely, and most made it home in time for Thanksgiving with their loved ones.

Michels Power came to the aid of four longtime utility customers to help restore power in the wake of the hurricane's crushing blow. Michels deployed 244 crew members and more than 200 pieces of equipment to Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey in the days immediately before and after Hurricane Sandy's strike. Brett Hurlburt, northeast region senior manager for Michels Power, who coordinated the storm-response effort, stated, “It took a full divisional effort from our operations on the West Coast, in the Midwest and on the East Coast.”

Michels Power crews arriving on the East Coast typically would start the restoration effort at a substation and follow the entire circuit to power nearby areas. Michels Power Vice President Mark Harasha said, “Crews contended with downed lines, downed polls, and blown conductors and transformers. They also worked on high-voltage transmission lines.”

MYR Group deployed hundreds of its T&D troops — some from as far away as Colorado — to assist with storm restoration. These storm-restoration crews provided service for eight utilities in 11 states in the Northeast. MYR Group President Bill Koertner noted, “We appreciate the understanding of our customers outside the storm area who allowed our crews to leave their existing projects to assist with the restoration.”

MDR Powerline Construction traveled from Columbia, Mississippi, to the Northeastern Seaboard to help. “We had 13 crews ready, but we needed the proper tools to outfit the extra crews,” said MDR's Travis Bond. “Altec was there with a solution when we needed it most.” To get the right tools, Bond and his team made a stop at Altec Supply in Birmingham, Alabama, to get the tools and supplies they needed, which varied from hydraulic drills to road signs.

Osmose Utilities Services began receiving calls from many electric utilities in the Northeast a week before Hurricane Sandy's landfall. The calls were for storm-support personnel. In total, Osmose deployed hundreds of personnel to 10 Northeastern utilities in eight states. Two-man crews arrived on the scene in advance of the storm, prepared to begin assessment and sight safety patrols as soon as Sandy passed. Despite continued adverse weather and dangerous conditions, Osmose crews worked 16-hour shifts for as many as 19 consecutive days, engaging in damage assessment, clearing debris, sight safety, and logistical and staging center support.

Tree Crews Respond

Ahead of Sandy's landfall, Asplundh helped utilities by mobilizing an extra 2,500 tree workers, but it was quickly apparent that many more crews would be needed to help clear trees and restore power. This massive storm had left more than 8 million utility customers without power in the densely populated Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states. At the peak of Asplundh's response, more than 4,900 tree workers had been sent in from 23 different states, the farthest being from Arizona as well as three Canadian provinces. They assisted 22 different utilities from Virginia to Massachusetts who requested extra help. As the crews finished restoration on utilities less affected by Sandy's wrath, many of them migrated to hard-hit utilities in northern New Jersey and Long Island.

Lewis Tree Service worked 20 consecutive days starting on Oct. 26 to assist in the power restoration and cleanup efforts. Lewis Tree Service mustered 1,127 tree working crews including alliance partner crews, which totaled 2,923 workers including alliance partners. Much of the work was around the clock with 16-hour days put in by many workers who served 27 utility customers in New Jersey, New York, Delaware, Connecticut, Maine, Vermont, Maryland, West Virginia and Ohio. Despite the long hours, no injuries were reported during the rebuild.

Doug Roof, senior vice president and COO led the Lewis utility operations team, overseeing the company's storm-ready command and control processes to coordinate the response to the calls for help. Several Lewis customers used Clearion tracking and project management software to manage the storm cleanup.

Wright Tree Service sent 81 crews — more than 200 employees — to New York and New Jersey to help with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and the nor'easter that followed. Crews worked for nearly three weeks to clear vegetation so utilities could restore infrastructure and power to the more than 8 million people affected by the storm. The 81 bucket truck and climbing crews were released from utilities in five states: Texas, Illinois, Missouri, Michigan and Indiana. “During major disasters, our mission to make positive differences in the communities we serve takes on even more significance,” said Scott Packard, Wright Tree Service chairman and CEO.

Townsend Corp., headquartered in Parker City, Indiana, provided tree service crews to seven electric utilities in Connecticut, Long Island, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey, West Virginia and Virginia. Townsend crews peaked at nearly 600 employees with 350 pieces of equipment drawn from bases in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, the Carolinas and Georgia.

Electric Utilities Unite

Utilities from all across the U.S. and Canada sent crews to assist in the rebuild. Crews came from city, state, rural and investor-owned utilities. Union and non-union alike assisted in the rebuild.

One of the furthest located utilities to respond was Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) located in the Pacific Northwest. More than 100 BPA personnel and contractors answered the call to get the lights back on in the New Jersey area. “BPA's line crews, electricians and other skilled professionals have the highest level of expertise working on high-voltage transmission systems — no one does it better,” said Kim Howell, regional manager for transmission field services at BPA.

As part of the Department of Energy's emergency response, BPA volunteered resources that most likely would be needed in a disaster-recovery effort. Among those deployed were maintenance transmission crews, a full bare-hand crew specialized in working with energized lines, heavy mobile equipment mechanics and vegetation removal contractors.

Along with the volunteers, BPA sent 71 pieces of large equipment, ranging from utility trucks to power generators and backhoes. BPA also coordinated with Clark County Public Utility to move some of that utility's equipment and tools for a crew that had previously deployed.

The crews and equipment were deployed in three waves from Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Olympia, Washington, and Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane, Washington. To move the equipment required an intricate process of weighing, measuring and developing load plans to place each piece precisely into the bellies of multiple C-5s and C-17s, huge cargo planes employed by the U.S. Air Force.

The BPA volunteers worked in coordination with the Department of Energy and FEMA to restore power. Line workers were deployed for the duration of the rebuild, not knowing when they would return home.

After receiving the call from Con Edison, Vectren Corp. staff located in Evansville, Indiana, departed for Flushing, New York, to assist in the Sandy rebuild. One Vectren crew was deployed along with several field investigators. The field investigators assisted with logistical and planning needs in the restoration efforts. This Vectren team joined nearly 57 of Vectren's contractor line specialists and 20 tree-trimming crews that were released to assist in the storm-restoration efforts. The Vectren employees worked 16-hour shifts for up to 10 days assisting in the rebuild of overhead circuits.

ComEd out of Chicago, Illinois, sent underground specialists to assist in outage restoration to New York City utility Con Edison. ComEd deployed a team of 48 top underground specialists to New York to assist specifically with the repair of underground vaults that power the city's skyscrapers. “ComEd has a unique in-house skill set for repairing these underground electrical systems, which are typically only found in densely built urban environments, like Chicago or New York,” said Terence Donnelly, ComEd's executive vice president and COO.

This deployment came in addition to the more than 900 ComEd and contractor personnel the utility sent to support the power-restoration efforts in Philadelphia and Baltimore, which were both in the direct path of Hurricane Sandy. “With more than 7 million people facing power outages on the East Coast, it's important to provide as much assistance as we can,” Donnelly said.

A Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) crew made up of 16 line technicians provided assistance to electric utilities in West Virginia and New Jersey. This effort was coordinated through the Midwest Mutual Aid group composed of various utilities in Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri. Crew members, led by NPPD Distribution Superintendent Dennis Wademan of Scottsbluff, initially assisted Appalachian Power Co. in West Virginia in restoring power to more than 150,000 customers who were out of power due to blizzard conditions and heavy snow. The NPPD team worked 16-hour days with mandatory 8 hours of sleep while assigned to restoration duty.

On Nov. 4, NPPD's crew was then reassigned to assist one of the hardest-hit utilities, Jersey Central Power & Light, which still had hundreds of thousands of customers without power. In New Jersey, the team was initially housed in a tent with 200 cots. On Nov. 7, they were relocated to Flemington, New Jersey, 50 miles (80 km) from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. From there, they moved into a semi-trailer converted into sleeping quarters.

John Humphrey, NPPD's transmission and distribution manager, said, “Our crews were very complimentary about the logistics and organization, with the exception of the fuel situation. When they fueled trucks, they were limited to approximately 50 gallons [190 liters] per vehicle, which was not enough to run all day.” We are extremely proud of this team's effort to go above and beyond their normal call of duty,” said NPPD President and CEO Pat Pope.

Approximately 65 Toronto Hydro employees headed south to New York and Massachusetts to assist in the rebuild over a 12-day period. The delegation comprised of both overhead power line and underground distribution network trades people. Some of the Toronto Hydro employees headed to assist Con Edison in repairing underground systems in New York City, while others supported National Grid in repairing predominately overhead systems in New Jersey and Massachusetts. Toronto Hydro crews ultimately restored power to thousands, working long hours in very difficult conditions, often sleeping in their trucks.

We Energies sent DUECO/Utility Equipment Leasing Corp. rental trucks to New York City. The utility had the trucks on rent prior to the storm and sent them to aid in the effort. Trucks also needed maintenance during the restoration. DUECO's Pennsylvania branch team members serviced trucks in Long Island, performing repairs and maintenance following the wrath of Hurricane Sandy. In addition, DUECO's 18 road service crews were all dedicated to maintaining the wide variety of DUECO equipment engaged in the restoration effort, including digger derricks and bucket trucks.

Safety First

It was apparent safety was at the forefront in the minds and hearts of the workers, as reported incidents of accidents were few and minor. As a safeguard, many utilities had technologies available to their workers to make them safer when working in chaotic or unfamiliar locations.

HD Electric, the manufacturer of the V-Watch personal voltage detectors, was able to meet the needs of crews working in areas with downed power lines. Many mutual-assistance crews were called in to mobilize and head toward the East Coast. For those crews that did not have devices when they left their home bases, HD Electric shipped V-Watch orders via next-day air to assigned hotels or to the service centers where crews were assigned to report. One such instance, a major tree service contractor purchased V-Watch devices for its crews and would not allow workers on the job site until they received the devices via overnight delivery to their hotel.

In one particularly heartening story, a supervisor working for a nationally recognized contractor reported that he was wearing a V-Watch personal voltage detector late at night working in a dark residential yard during the Sandy restoration when the V-Watch he was wearing started beeping. He stopped and realized there was an energized line directly in the path where he was walking; he never saw it or knew it was there. It was a potentially lifesaving incident.

Equipment and Supplies to the Front

The utility and contract crews required tremendous logistic support in getting equipment, materials and supplies to the frontline. To keep the work flowing smoothly, affected utilities were desperate to keep workers on the job site with the poles and transformers, fuses and lightning arresters, and myriad connectors and hardware. Restoration efforts required materials and equipment to be delivered each evening so the appropriate resources could be distributed at the crew level the next day. This is where a proactive approach to supply chain comes into play, and suppliers showed as much spunk and determination in doing their part in the rebuild efforts as the frontline workers.

Hubbell Power Systems launched its Hubbell Emergency Action Team to focus its storm effort. The company used its distributors, suppliers and logistics partners to react quickly to storm damage, shipping thousands of connectors, fuse links, cutouts, pole hardware, insulators, arresters, anchors and tools to rebuild the utility systems. Hubbell employees go into 24/7 mode when major storm events occur. Working from its Centralia, Missouri, headquarters, Hubbell Power Systems provided more than 40,000 products needed by line workers to restore the electric system to its pre-storm condition.

Cooper Power Systems maintains a designated storm response that allows the company to streamline its response for affected utilities to provide restoration supplies, including overhead transformers, fuses, connectors and protective equipment. Five days prior to Sandy hitting the East Coast, the company began contacting utility customers to better anticipate their needs. It maintained daily contact with customers throughout the rebuild.

Many Cooper Power products are engineered to order and typically require longer lead times. With emergency communications systems in place, flexing manufacturing capacity, air shipping material in from the company's global supply base, and workers willing to put in extra hours to get the job done, lead times on some of these products went from weeks to days.

G&W Electric's approach to Superstorm Sandy was really business as usual as the company followed routine processes. G&W is a major supplier of switchgear, reclosers and high-voltage cable terminations, and its customers include all the major utilities affected by Hurricane Sandy. During and after the Sandy devastation, G&W had its 24-hour emergency contact service manned and ready, as it responded to requests for expedited deliveries of replacement product and service assistance.

S&C Electric, headquartered in Chicago, has a standard process in place for responding to major storms. Once a storm is deemed imminent, a task force comprised of local sales personnel, internal customer support, production and S&C's services organization hold calls at least daily. The storm-preparedness team assesses and prioritizes local needs and ensures that S&C expedites urgent requirements. In the case of Hurricane Sandy, this team was already in place the week before the hurricane came ashore, shipping product to the affected region before the storm even hit to ensure needed replacement products were in place.

Once the storm hit, S&C personnel from throughout the company worked nights, Saturdays and Sundays to fulfill storm-related product and other support requirements, including fuse links, medium-voltage power fuses, source-transfer switchgear and circuit switchers. In all cases, lead times were reduced to a fraction of what a customer would typically experience.

Similarly, General Electric's (GE's) emergency response teams supported utility customers impacted by Hurricane Sandy. In addition to providing transmission and distribution equipment, GE's field service engineers helped utilities to evaluate and repair water-damaged electrical equipment.

Likewise, Siemens ramped up to assist customers in their time of need. Because of severe flooding, substation equipment was particularly susceptible to significant damage and utility customers needed replacement circuit breakers and replacement parts. Switchgear situated in lower elevations in substations sustained damage. Siemens responded by providing replacement parts, including linkages, strip heaters, spring-charged motors and secondary disconnects. Siemens was able to expedite delivery of the damaged parts for Siemens devices along with vintage Allis-Chalmers switchgear from its warehouse and manufacturing facility just outside of Raleigh, North Carolina, while also working with strategic partners to have parts made on an emergency basis and shipped directly to customers. Having this local footprint and expert knowledge enabled utilities to rely on their own crews to efficiently restore their assets.

ABB responded when notified that multiple switchgear, relay houses, controls, transformers and other high-voltage substation equipment were damaged by the flood throughout the region. ABB employees provided equipment assessment and corrective action guidance. Response teams, representing each of the company's businesses, met daily to discuss the needs of affected utilities, prioritize actions and coordinate the response.

ABB's Pinetops, North Carolina, team worked around the clock to produce and expedite shipment of thousands of fuse cutouts. And across the region, ABB had more than 20 medium- and high-voltage service technicians on the ground working with utility maintenance crews to repair and upgrade power delivery infrastructure. ABB employees in the Coral Springs, Florida, facility worked nonstop over the weekends to expedite key protective relays and switches. In the Lake Mary, Florida, facility, manufacturing capacity was added to provide quick-response lead times for customers needing outdoor circuit breakers, reclosers and switchgear.

ABB also leveraged the Thomas & Betts facilities in the region to provide resources and staging areas to assist customers in their relief efforts.

Connector Products (CP) based in Cinnaminson, New Jersey, started receiving orders and ramping up manufacturing ahead of the storm. Once the storm hit on Monday, Oct. 29, all CP workers went to 12-hour shifts. Then, as the news reports and outage reports started rolling in, most workers dedicated 16-hour days to the cause for the next 13 days straight. CP shipped more than 10,000 taps, 1,000 hot-line clamps and 12,000 automatic splices to the region.

Located in Southern New Jersey, CP was miraculously located in a small grid that maintained power throughout the emergency. The first few days with major trucking operations closed down because of power loss, the employees were delivering product to emergency locations in their trucks at any given time in the 24-hour day. The company also called in private carriers throughout each day.

In Hastings, Michigan, the 75-plus employees at Hastings Fiberglass Products worked around the clock since utilities began calling. This includes an around-the-clock effort at a Hastings factory to meet orders for ground clamp sets, and this after the facility was flooded.

Hastings Fiberglass Products President David Baum explained, “Our company's small size and culture allows a quick response in emergency situations.” To respond to Superstorm Sandy, Hastings customers placed emergency orders for 600 of the company's three-phase grounding cable sets. Most of the cable sets are being delivered with 1/0 and 2/0 cable.

“Our employees really care about their customers and really feel like they are contributing and helping out a desperate situation,” said Larry Baum, who continued. “We have never seen this kind of a rush before.”

IUS Technologies, a provider of utility-grade voltage monitors and smart sensors, tracked customer sentiment and the response efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and the following nor'easter. Millions of customers were without power for days or weeks, a situation IUS believes could have been better managed by implementing smart grid sensors on the distribution feeders.

In cases where IUS Technologies' VS1000 and VS3000 voltage and current reporting devices were installed on three-phase distribution circuits, outages were pinpointed, which resulted in quicker response times and lower outage durations.

Overhead Wire Is Essential

Southwire in Carrollton, Georgia, shipped in excess of 1,193 miles (1,920 km) of cable to meet its customers' needs in response to Superstorm Sandy. The majority of shipments were made up of bare aluminum conductor steel-reinforced and 600-V service-drop items. To give an idea of the cable shipped in the harder-hit areas, 454 miles (731 km) were shipped to PECO, PSE&G, National Grid, Long Island Power Authority, Iberdrola and Northeast Utilities along with five major distributors in the area.

The west Georgia customer service center, the Carrollton utility plant and the Kentucky plant all played major roles in responding to the conductor requests. Southwire's experience with PECO was typical of the level of response required to meet the utility need. PECO initiated twice-daily conference calls with Southwire, during which the company was able to track all orders down to the hour of delivery.

Emergency calls came pouring into General Cable's emergency response center, staffed by commercial, operational and logistics personnel. Associates conducted twice-daily calls to ensure the delivery requirements of all of the company's Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern electric utility partners were being met. Electric utility cable and conductors were shipped from General Cable facilities by freight carrier to emergency cable yards in the utility staging areas.

Low-voltage overhead secondary cables (600 V) and small-sized bare aluminum distribution conductor made up the majority of the shipments. General Cable also manufactured and shipped a great deal of all-aluminum alloy conductor-type conductor, a specialty alloy product often used in coastal applications. Over the next two weeks, more than 100 General Cable associates across five manufacturing facilities and distribution centers worked in tandem 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to ship more than 1,994 miles (3,209 km) of cable and conductors.

Wood Poles Are Key to Restoration Efforts

Wood poles flooded the Sandy-affected areas. According to the Southern Pressure Treaters' Association (SPTA), “In the first week after Sandy's landfall, 24,600 wood poles and 59,000 wood crossarms were shipped by SPTA members. In the second week, another 24,400 wood poles and 12,500 wood crossarms were shipped. In total, SPTA reported its members shipped roughly 65,100 wood poles and 103,500 wood crossarms to utilities.” Cox Industries, DIS-TRAN Wood Products and other SPTA wood pole providers took part in the effort.

A deeper look into activities by Cox Industries paints a frantic picture. A week before Hurricane Sandy hit, Cox Industries made calls to customers in the Northeast to verify inventories on hand at reload yards and manufacturing facilities. Sourcing materials also were notified, based on the class sizes normally used by Cox Industries customers. As expected, inventories were quickly depleted in distribution yards in New York, Massachusetts and New Jersey, and in stock at Cox plants.

Treatment plants in New Jersey, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama went to work 24/7 for the duration of the rebuild effort. By the end of the first week after the storm, Cox Industries had shipped well over 250 trucks of DuraPine heavy-duty poles, distribution sizes from 25 ft to 50 ft (7.6 m to 15.2 m) in class 1 to 7, and transmission sizes from 55 ft (16.7 m) to 90 ft (27.4 m) in class 1 to 3 and H1 to H6. In addition, Cox shipped more than 30,000 DuraPine crossarms for distribution and transmission applications.

Bridgewell Resources, based in Tigard, Oregon, produced and trucked as many as 1,500 poles a day to the Northeast, but delivering new poles is only part of the battle. Equally demanding is the need to clean up and recycle the damaged poles. Bridgewell helped utilities in the Northeast with a range of services, including arranging the pickup and incineration, reclamation or remanufacturing of damaged poles. The focus in the field has been on restoring power quickly, but Bridgewell also averaged the removal of 50 loads of damaged poles per week.

Meeting the Needs of the Dispossessed

Southwire not only worked around the clock to provide wire and cable needed for the transmission and distribution circuit rebuild, the company also took time to collect the basic necessities needed by people in the storm-ravaged areas. Volunteers put out the word in the company's hometown of Carrollton for bottled water, hygiene items, ready-to-eat food, blankets, baby items and nonperishable foods. The response was overwhelming. Southwire ended up with three tractor-trailer loads that it took to Neptune Township, New Jersey.

Several manufacturers including ABB, GE and S&C set up programs to support the American Red Cross to bring aid to the victims of the storm. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), whose members worked so hard to bring the area back to normal, also thought of comfort for the victims. Working with the Long Island United Way, IBEW donated Thanksgiving dinners for hard-hit communities.

Sandy has been classified as the second most destructive storm to hit the United States. It caused billions of dollars in damage and destruction, destroyed thousands of homes and business, left millions without electricity and, tragically, lives were lost.

When a storm of this magnitude hits, restoring power requires ingenuity, resourcefulness and teamwork — and that is exactly what the industry delivered. Utilities within the damage zone coordinated the effort, providing support and direction. Unaffected utilities from around North America sent crews and equipment. Manufacturers and suppliers kept the restoration material coming and the supply line full. The frontline troops rebuilt the electrical system in the harshest conditions — sometimes one lateral at a time.

During a major storm, this industry is charged with more than merely the restoration of power. Assistance on a massive scale helps people restore their lives.

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