Mississippi crews assist in Sandy recovery
Wednesday, November 7, 2012 12:00 PM
Superstorm Sandy devastated parts of the East Coast on Oct. 29 and caused damage in 24 states, leaving millions of residents and business without power.
Entergy MS crews work in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, replacing a crossarm and broken insulator for Atlantic City Electric.
This week, it was estimated that there were still 900,000 people without power as winds and heavy rains damaged infrastructure throughout the region.
Many states sent aid in the form and workers and supplies and Mississippi was no different. Entergy MS, the largest supplier of electricity in the state, sent their first wave of workers to the region two days before the storm hit, according to spokesperson mara Hartmann.
A second wave went the following Tuesday and Wednesday.
"We have about 90 workers in all from Entergy MS," Hartmann said. "Most have been stationed in Atlantic City, N. J. A few have moved north of there, closer to New York City, and an underground network restoration team is working in New York City."
More than 1,000 miles wide, Sandy reportedly knocked out power to nine million residents.
A release from Entergy called the reconstruction effort "the biggest single task the U.S. electric industry has ever undertaken."
While on the East Coast, Entergy MS workers were surprised to find out they would be able to vote in the election as officials had made ballots available to those working.
Scotty Cliburn, Entergy MS line supervisor from Southaven, said before knowing they would be able to vote, "I was really disappointed, but I figured that voting would go on without me."
Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann said, "Our agency is committed to ensuring everyone who wants to vote, and is eligible to vote, casts a ballot on election day - whether they are overseas or assisting with national disasters. We began an immediate effort with local election officials across the state to deliver ballots to our service workers assisting hurricane victims."
In addition to Entergy MS workers, other Mississippi officials have made the trek up north to offer assistance. Seven MEMA employees, one Mississippi Commission for Volunteer Service employee, and officials from at least seven counties and two cities, including Madison, were sent.
Fifty Mississippi Highway Patrol troopers from the Special Operations Group were sent to New Jersey to help aid law enforcement.