Riverside – In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and the Nor’easter super storm that followed at the end of October, communities all along the eastern seaboard struggled to bring services back on line. In Long Island, New York, power poles and trees were toppled over adding to delays in getting safe power back to millions of customers.
In response to a request from the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) on November 2, Riverside Public Utilities (RPU) was able to send out a team of six linemen along with four vehicles full of equipment to aid in the restoration of energy utilities to the stricken community.
Quick coordination between RPU energy delivery personnel and the City of Riverside’s Emergency Operations department placed the RPU crew and their equipment on a cargo plane out of March Air Reserve Base on November 4. The Riverside team along with crews from Pasadena Water and Power, and the cities of Anaheim and Burbank were among the 10,000 restoration workers from across the country who responded to LIPA’s request.
After being deployed, RPU Electric Supervisor Rick Holmes, and Powerline Technicians Rick Austin, Ryan Eche, Frank Paz, Curtis Smith, and Robert Staples worked tirelessly for 15 days, including through an early snowstorm, to help return power services to the residents of Long Island. “Most of the work we did was overhead,” said Holmes, “as there were a lot of power poles down and trees that took out lines.”
“Once we did the temporary work to get power back to people, we focused on doing permanent repairs,” Holmes said. LIPA customers, many who went without services for 14 days or more, were very appreciative of the work, Holmes said. “They were overwhelmed that crews from California were there restoring their power, but they were happy with finally getting their services back.”
“We were proud that our crew stepped up and was able to provide some help to an area that was struggling to restore services to its customers,” said RPU Deputy General Manager for Energy Delivery Steve Badgett. “When problems like this strike such devastating blows to infrastructure, it is essential that public power utilities help each other out wherever and however they can.”
The City of Riverside will recognize the RPU crew during its afternoon session City Council Meeting on Tuesday, December 18, at 1 p.m. in the Art Pick Council Chambers, located at 3900 Main Street, Riverside.
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