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Oct 29, 2012 11:28 PM by Maddie Garrett

Acadiana Crews Head North to Help Restore Power After Sandy

Crews from across the country are on their way to the northeast to help restore power outages caused by now Tropical Storm Sandy. They're even getting a little bit of help from Acadiana. At least two local companies sent crews to help areas hit by Sandy, CLECO and Entergy.

As of Monday afternoon, 26 workers from CLECO in Louisiana were already in the Baltimore area, on standby to restore power after the storm.

"The winds are picking up while we were here and right at three o'clock they shut down all the staging areas because the winds got too strong and sent all the crews to their hotels to kind of hunker down and ride the storm out," said Mike Polk, CLECO Manager of Operations of the Eastern District.

Entergy sent 305 workers from Louisiana, 36 of those from South Louisiana. Of CLECO's crew, workers went from New Iberia, Franklin, Eunice and Ville Platte. The crews from both companies volunteered to head out of the state and help out.

"The workers include everything from linemen, to scouts who assess the damage, logistic support to help accommodate the work forces that we bring up there as well as management teams to lead the work crew," said Entergy Regional Customer Service Manager Chip Arnould, Jr.

Acadiana is no stranger to hurricanes, however it's unknown how Sandy storm will pan out. Polk said there are some similarities between Sandy and Isaac that just hit Louisiana, such as the wind speeds, size and overall speed of the storm.

"It's still a lot of uncertainty about how long this is going to stay here. But what makes this a little bit different from Isaac is it's going to be transitioning from a hurricane into a winter storm," said Polk.

Still, the work is the same with repairing downed power lines and getting electricity up and running. Polk said they're eager to help when the storm is on another coast.

"We hate for it to happen anywhere but we love to go help other people," said Polk. "You know we've come almost 1,200 miles and they really appreciate us taking time from our families and coming up here and helping them out."

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