Pacific Gas and Electric Company has offered to send help to the areas damaged by Hurricane Katrina in the form of crews, equipment, and charitable aid.
"We have been in touch with utilities in the region, and stand ready to assist them in rebuilding electric infrastructure to quickly restore power," said Gordon R. Smith, president and chief executive officer of PG&E. "The damage to equipment and infrastructure is extensive, and will require as much help as we and others can give.
"We will also be giving up to $100,000 in charitable contributions to the Red Cross to assist hurricane victims, matching donations by our employees, to try to help with the human side of this tragedy," Smith said. PG&E has offered to send electric, gas and transmission tower construction crews, along with vehicles and equipment needed to help restore electricity and natural gas service. Utilities in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama are expected to let PG&E know as soon as early next week the resources they need, and an assessment of when crews can enter the affected areas. PG&E will then quickly coordinate the deployment of crews and equipment to the region.
The work, will likely focus on rebuilding distribution and transmission lines by replacing poles and towers and hanging new wire. The crews will also likely rebuild and repair natural gas facilities, which can be a time- consuming process. At this time, we do not know how long PG&E crews will be deployed.
PG&E's crew deployment is based on employee volunteers. In this case, the PG&E crews are likely to work and live under difficult conditions. The company applauds the spirit and commitment of the men and women who choose to participate in this effort.
By assembling these crews from several areas across northern and central California, instead of from one region, PG&E hopes to be able to minimize any impact on its ability to provide safe, reliable service, as well as meet its on-going customer commitments.