Valley Public Radio - Live Audio

Californians Helping East Coast Recover from Sandy

Nov 2, 2012

Hundreds of California first responders and utility crews are on the East Coast helping in the recovery efforts after Superstorm Sandy. 

More than four million people on the east coast are still without power. But utility crews from PG&E, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas and Electric are helping in the restoration efforts. Tim Bedford is Incident Commander with PG&E. He and 162 workers are helping restore power in Flushing New York. Bedford says it may take longer than the original two weeks they anticipated.

“The first three four days of an event like this are really challenging, you really don’t know what you got, and how long it’s going to take until you are able to identify all damage.”

He says utility crews will have to deal with standing water, medical and construction waste and other dangerous situations. Meanwhile California’s Air National Guard arrived on Monday in Newcastle Delaware with 130 guard members. Lt. Colonel Fred Foote says right now they’re standing by for orders.

“It appears that all the civil authorities, police departments, fire departments, are being able to handle the aftermath of this Hurricane so there’s always the possibility of water levels rising and levees breaking and stuff like that and we’ll get the call," says Foote.

California’s Air Guard has helicopters equipped with pararescue teams, which helped during Hurricane Katrina. California Emergency Management officials say 14 members of urban search and rescue teams are also helping the Federal Emergency Management Agency.