Electric workers return after heading east for Sandy - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Electric workers return after heading east for Sandy


It was almost a month ago Super Storm Sandy smashed into the East Coast, but clean up efforts are still ongoing. Many crews headed out East in late October to prepare for the looming storm.

Most days, you can find MidAmerican Energy employee, Troy Hummel, working around Cherokee, Iowa.

"I've been a lineman for six years," said Hummel.

But on Oct. 27, Hummel left his office bound for the East Coast as Sandy drew closer. He had worked to help disaster victims around Iowa before, but this was a whole different level.

"I was a little bit nervous as far as what to expect because no one knew for sure what was going to hit or where it was going to hit at," said Hummel.

Hummel and his team drove to Poughkeepsie, N.Y.  He says when Sandy made landfall, 77,000 people lost power.

"We were about 50 miles up from New York, so there was no flooding, but there was a lot of wind damage, a lot of tree damage, a lot of broken poles," said Hummel.

From there, the terrible tempest seemed it would never let up.

"It rained the first couple of days that we were there and about seven days later, then it snowed about ten inches of snow and we had to put the chains on the trucks to get back to the hotel," said Hummel.

For two weeks, his crews worked around Poughkeepsie and Brewster, N.Y., to get things back up and running.

"When they said you have 700 broken poles, you know you think it's a little bit overwhelming. But in about five days, they had that worked out," said Hummel.

Still, it's an opportunity he says he'd do again.

"The best thing is if you're in a neighborhood and you throw on a fuse and you can just hear people cheering or going, 'yes'," said Hummel.

Hummel's crew was the first of three sent by MidAmerican to the East Coast. They got back just a little more than a week ago. Those crews included folks from Waterloo, Des Moines, Council Bluffs and several other Siouxland cities.

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