Siouxland volunteers head east to help in Sandy relief efforts
By Ross Caniglia, Multimedia Journalist/ Weekend Meteorologist - bio | email
From Sandy to a snowstorm, Siouxland volunteers face challenges to help those on the east coast.
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) -
From Sandy to a snowstorm, the weather along the East Coast has been anything but friendly. Sandy is gone, but few will ever forgot what she left behind. Crews from the Midwest have traveled thousands of miles to help get things back to normal.
"People were cold and hungry," said Maurice Evans, Red Cross Volunteer.
Siouxland Red Cross volunteers have been handing out meals to New Jersey storm victims.
They were there just three days after the storm made landfall.
"We saw people pumping water out of their houses, out of the basements. (The) fire department was trying to help. We saw trees down. Electricity was off everywhere," said Evans.
The power went out all over the Eastern U.S., so someone had to turn it back on. One of the groups that made it happen was the Nebraska Public Power District.
"Crews were in the Charleston area basically helping get the lines back up," said Mark Becker, Nebraska Public Power District.
Members of the NPPD went first to West Virginia, but a recent Nor'easter created more power outages in Central New Jersey, forcing workers to move to the coast.
"At one point they were down to about 150,000 customers that needed to be on. Snowstorm hit and there's another 120,000 customers without power at that point," said Becker.
Crews continued to restore power, but not without some adversity.
"First two nights they were in New Jersey, they slept in a very large tent, and then I guess Thursday, they were, as I said, moved up to the Hilton, which was actually a converted semi-trailer that was made into some sleeping quarters for the crews," said Becker.
But in the end, gratitude overpowers, helping volunteers to carry on.
"Oh they're very happy. They're thankful. We get a lot of honking on the freeway for a thank you, and we get a lot of thumbs up," said Evans.
Members of the Siouxland Red Cross and Nebraska Public Power District volunteers are scheduled to come home next week.
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