Cedar Rapids, Iowa News, Sports, and Weather
CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – A four-man Cedar Falls Utilities crew is lending a hand to get Hurricane Sandy victims out of the dark.
They drove two large trucks half way across the country to Long Island, New York.
"They are working 16 hour days; they get up in the morning at six and work until 10:00 p.m.," said Dan Goetz, Manager of CFU Construction Services . "So, it's a long day. They work every day of the week. No matter what the weather conditions are, they are out working. They are restoring service to customers, so that's a positive. We understand there's over 5,000 line workers in the area assisting with mutual aid, so it's pretty hectic."
The utility workers are battling cold temperatures and finding power lines mangled in trees in a residential area.
The crew consists of three linemen and a support worker. They were sent as part of a mutual aid agreement, which is a program designed to help other cities when they find that they have a massive amount of work from a disaster.
"This is by far the farthest we've gone to assist with mutual aid," Goetz said.
Prior to this trip,the farthest Cedar Falls workers had traveled to help after a storm was southern Missouri. Lineman Ryan Hansen was on that trip and knows what it's like to help those struggling to move on after a storm rips through a community.
"It's a really good feeling to get down there and get the lights back on," Hansen said. "I know the people appreciate it a lot. We were down there quite a while working long days but I know people appreciate it and show their appreciation."
Cedar Falls Utilities has received an unexpected response from one storm victim on the East Coast. It found a thank you note on the Facebook page.
It said, "You guys worked in the cold and snow to help people from another state. God Bless you all, we will never forget your kindness and help during this terrible storm."
The utility crew is expected to return home to Cedar Falls on Thursday or Friday.
"We certainly want them to work safe, we want them to return home safe," Goetz said. "That's our biggest goal whenever we do go, we want to help, but more importantly we want them to return home safe."
Two workers from Waverly also teamed up with the Cedar Falls crew for the mission to the East Coast.