Ameren sending more workers to help with aftermath of Sandy

Ameren sending more workers to help with aftermath of Sandy

ST. LOUIS — Ameren will send another wave of workers to the East Coast to help repair downed power lines and other damage left in the trail of superstorm Sandy.

The local electricity and gas utility earlier this week had already sent 550 Ameren workers to Somerset and Lawrenceville, N.J., to assist the utility workers there.

"Now, as the aftermath is completed and folks are starting to be able to assess the damage, we're going to send another group of lineman and support personnel," said Ameren spokesman Brian Bretsch.

Bretsch said on Wednesday that the crews already there are having a hard time even moving around the area. Roads are covered by downed trees and electric lines, and traffic signals are out.

Ameren crews in the Midwest are just now starting to communicate with workers who had gone East as cellphone signals had been shoddy for the past couple days.

The workers will be assisting Public Service Electric and Gas Co., the largest publicly owned utility in New Jersey. On Wednesday morning, 51 percent of New Jersey residents were without power.

The Department of Energy estimates that 58,000 linemen, tree personnel and other utility support workers have headed to the East Coast to help with power restoration. Workers expect that full restoration could take as long as seven days.

The aid is part of a long-standing mutual support network organized by public utilities. Other utilities have sent workers to the Midwest during ice storms, and especially after strong storms in summer 2006.

"We had crews coming from all over the East Coast and all other parts of the country, so we'd like to return the favor," Bretsch said.

In addition to sending workers, Ameren will donate $25,000 to the American Red Cross and another $25,000 to the Salvation Army to help with storm relief.

Bretsch said safety will be the first priority for local crews, and day-to-day operations in the Midwest will not be affected.

"We definitely make sure that we have enough folks here to do the regular maintenance," Bretsch said.

Sections (2):News, Local
Topics (1):People
Categories (3):News, People, Weather

Comments

News-Gazette.com embraces discussion of both community and world issues. We welcome you to contribute your ideas, opinions and comments, but we ask that you avoid personal attacks, vulgarity and hate speech. We reserve the right to remove any comment at our discretion, and we will block repeat offenders' accounts. To post comments, you must first be a registered user, and your username will appear with any comment you post. Happy posting.

Login or register to post comments

EL YATIRI wrote on November 01, 2012 at 7:11 am
Profile Picture

Our current government's approach to major disaster management and relief is in stark contrast to the Bush/Romney approach of  "cut FEMA funding and turn it over to local governments and private sector".  

The Republican view that the federal government should not take the lead in recovery from major natural disasters is just wrong.  FEMA is not another "47% entitlement" for lazy moochers who would rather live off the government than work hard.

When a natural disaster and tragedy strikes, americans pull together.  It is great to see our government (NG fails to mention the Department of Energy's role in organizing public utility response) acting to bring all assests and resources to bear on this national emergency.

I think Katrina FEMA mismanager "heckuvajob" Brownie's criticism of president Obama for "taking action too early" best illustrates  the Republican party's attitude on this issue: http://tv.msnbc.com/2012/10/30/former-fema-director-michael-brown-criticizes-obama-for-responding-to-sandy-quickly/

 

fuddrules wrote on November 01, 2012 at 8:11 am

LOL -


The DOE primarily role right now is focused on eliminating any bureaucratic roadblocks or red tape that could delay utility teams in their efforts to restore power.  In essence, they are saying, what do we need to do to remove the roadblocks we normally create?  How can we get out of the way for a change.  At least they are communicating and trying to eliminate red tape, they do deserve credit for that.


It’s the semi-private utility companies and local New York/Jersey workers that are and will get things done.  They have the boots on the ground and know what to do.  FEMA just needs to do moderate coordination, provide adequate water/meals/housing, etc…  Not necessarily easy but the true restoration will come from -  #1 the locals and #2 each state.


The difference between this and Katrina was the New Orleans government was totally inept and corrupt. Completely useless.  A significant portion of New Orleans citizens were totally reliant on someone other than themselves for their own welfare.  A significant portion of New Yorkers aren’t like that.


If you’re relying on the FEDS to take care of you under any administration, under any crisis, if you survive at all, consider yourself fortunate.