Seattle City Light is sending 14 employees and support equipment to New York to assist in Long Island’s recovery from Hurricane Sandy. They will leave from Joint Base Lewis-McChord about 6 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 3.
Two five-person line crews, two engineers, a supervisor and a safety adviser are being sent along with large bucket trucks and digger derrick trucks that dig holes for setting utility poles. The crews are trained in construction methods for both transmission and distribution work.
“We reached out to our sister utilities on the East Coast to see how we could help and Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) told us they could use our help,” City Light Superintendent Jorge Carrasco said. “No utility can respond on its own when a storm of this magnitude hits. Our mutual aid agreements are in place for a time when we might need help. At a time like this, we are truly a community of partners ready to offer a helping hand.”
City Light’s crews and equipment will travel to New York on a military transport plane from Joint Base Lewis-McChord on Saturday. It is rare that a military transport would be used to carry utility equipment for this type of recovery work. City Light is very grateful for the help from Gov. Gregoire’s office and for the Obama Administration to make this military deployment possible.
Like City Light, LIPA is a non-profit, municipally owned utility. At the height of the storm, they lost nearly 950,000 customers. At last count, 550,000 customers were still without power and there is the threat of a new storm coming in the middle of next week. City Light anticipates that its crews will be in New York for two weeks
Seattle City Light is the 10th largest public electric utility in the United States. It has some of the lowest cost customer rates of any urban utility, providing reliable, renewable and environmentally responsible power to nearly 1 million Seattle area residents. City Light has been greenhouse gas neutral since 2005, the first electric utility in the nation to achieve that distinction.