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Idaho crews travel east to help Sandy victims

By Stephanie Hale-Lopez
Published On: Nov 10 2012 08:28:38 PM CST

Two six-man Idaho Power Company crews, along with 18 Rocky Mountain Power employees, are helping with recovery efforts following super storm Sandy.

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho -

Two six-man Idaho Power Company crews, along with 18 Rocky Mountain Power employees, are helping with recovery efforts following super storm Sandy. 

After a cross-country trip, local power crews have finally arrived on the east coast to help restore power. Idaho Power crews are in New York and the Rocky Mountain Power crews are in New Jersey.

Crews said they're working to restore power to people that have been in the dark for weeks now. 

"About 95 percent of their system was destroyed at the height of the storm," said Matt Smith, Idaho Power construction manager. "They've got the vast majority of it back up, but there's still pockets of outages scattered all over." 

The crews from Idaho join more than 14,000 workers from 45 states and Canada to replace broken poles, run new power lines, and remove downed trees. 

"We're seeing oak trees that are 4 feet in diameter, broke completely off, 30-40 feet in the air," said Smith. "They had significant winds and that did a lot of the damage." 

Additional crews may be sent out to help with further restoration projects, but Idaho crews say they're willing to be there for as long as they're needed.

"If we can still be useful and needed, we'll remain here," said Smith. "If it gets to the point where they need to release some folks and they don't need us anymore then we'll return to Idaho."

Crews said their goal is to have all power restored by Thanksgiving, but if everything continues to operate smoothly, chances are power could be restored before then. 

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