BOISE – The last two weeks have been long, but insightful for a group of Idaho Power linemen working in New York.
Each day they worked 16-hour shifts, took their eight hours of mandatory rest, and then did it all over again.
Friday the crews finally made their way back home inside Idaho state lines.
Going to New York by air was not an option, so by the time these crews got home--they were glad to be out of the trucks they spent hours in.
“I wanted to get out of that truck like nothing else,” said lineman Bryan Orcutt. “That's a long drive.”
However, before all that, they packed up those trucks and some equipment and drove 2,500 miles to New York to help the Long Island Power Authority get power back on for hundreds of thousands of Hurricane Sandy victims.
“We were doing a lot of the cleanup work for them,” said Orcutt.
The crews were dispatched to some of the hardest hit areas after Hurricane Sandy and the help poured in. Idaho Power was joined by crews from 45 other states and Canada
“Just the amount of crews over there and what not, was just the impressive part to see,” said Orcutt.
Members of this Idaho Power crew said one of the most rewarding things was the thanks given by the power customers living all for so long without light.
“One night when we went to dinner and some lady just came up and started crying and just said thank you it was cool it was just rewarding,” said Idaho Power lineman Chad Owen.
“Lot of thumbs up from people and just random people coming out to just say thank you,” said Orcutt.
Although they are home now the impacts will last with this Idaho Power crew.
Idaho Power Manager of Delivery Construction Matt Smith said there is still so much to be done, after Sandy.
“Just don't forget that those people still have a big challenge ahead of them and so if there are other ways you can help, continue to help them,” said Smith.
Smith also said the mission to help the Long Island Power Authority was not possible without the cooperation of the entire Idaho Power company.
He said many wanted to go help in New York, but keeping things in order back here in Idaho was also important.