Southern California Edison on Thursday sent more than 100 personnel and dozens of utility trucks to the East Coast to help utility crews restore power to millions of customers still in the dark after Superstorm Sandy ravaged the region earlier this week.
SoCal Edison workers spent Thursday morning loading utility trucks onto military-transport planes at March Air Reserve Base.
The Rosemead-based utility sent some 70 trucks and 120 crew members to run them. And, by order of the president, the U.S. Air Force mobilized to move the crews and their equipment to New York as quickly as possible.
What could have taken days if the trucks had driven cross-country, took just a few hours.
“Based upon the type of vehicle and work that they do, they'll be assigned in -- it could be -- several different states and areas,” said Raymond Hicks, of Southern California Edison.
In Superstorm Sandy's destructive wake, electrical infrastructure along the eastern seaboard took a beating. Poles came down, substations blew up, and sea-water flooded equipment across several states.
Six C-5 planes and eight C-17’s loaded with 125,000 pounds of equipment zoomed eastward Thursday.
Air reserve pilots, no strangers to answering the call when disaster strikes, say this kind of mission still feels good.
“Yeah, it's very fulfilling for us to help out,” said Lt. Colonel John Jost of the US Air Force Reserve.
The trucks and personnel are expected to arrive some time Thursday night and be on the east coast for the next three to four weeks.