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CPS Energy Sends Crews to Help Restore Power in Virginia

Joey Palacios
Texas Public Radio

Millions of people on the East Coast remain without power today as Superstorm Sandy barrels into the United States. To help restore electricity, CPS Energy is sending some of its own emergency response crews.

For the next three days, 6 of CPS Energy’s utility trucks will be traveling to help Dominion Virginia Power, who sent CPS a request for assistance on Sunday Morning.

"We huddled up Sunday evening and determined what level of assistance we could provide," said Rick Maldonado, CPS Energy’s Director of Outside Services and Reliability. "We’re sending a crew up there which consists of 12 linemen, a variety of other support services associated with that, including some resources to install new poles," said Maldonado.

David Lopez is one of the 51 employees who volunteered to lend a hand, riding in one of 26 total vehicles being sent by CPS.

"We’ re going to go help the people go get the lights back up there," Lopez said. "What we do –we’re mechanics – break downs, tires, hydraulic lines, everything."

The emergency crews will travel 1,500 miles to Richmond, Va., and  Maldonado said utilities have agreements like this in place for times of emergency.

“If the need ever arises for us to need their assistance we can count on them also,” Maldonado said.

Nearly 6 million people remain without power on the East Coast in 15 states. CPS anticipates the crews will be there for 14 days or possibly longer depending on the need.

Joey Palacios can be reached atJoey@TPR.org and on Twitter at @Joeycules