(WKBN) — Hundreds of thousands of people are still without power in the New Orleans area. Local FirstEnergy crews are putting in long hours to get it back up and running.
They’ve been there for about a week and about 60% of customers have had their power restored.
About 50 local crew members are working to restore miles of power lines, and are starting from scratch to rebuild the power system in some areas.
They’re installing new utility poles, restringing power lines and installing equipment that was completely damaged by the hurricane.
They’re working 16 hour days, but this isn’t anything new to them.
Some of the people in the neighborhoods they’re working in actually remember them from their aid after Katrina.
“Many of these customers actually remember our crews from when we were assisting after Hurricane Katrina. It’s amazing to see so many people recognize our utility trucks from Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland and West Virginia because we’re no strangers to this area. When disaster strikes, we’re always willing to send out crews to help rebuild their communities and get their power up and running,” said FirstEnergy spokesperson Lauren Siburkis.
She said the community has been very supportive and appreciative and are constantly offering crew members food or something to drink.
“Our crews were driving several hours to and from their locations in New Orleans because there were no hotels that were available or they didn’t have power. Now that all our crews are lodged here in New Orleans they’ll be able to make even more progress in restoring these customers quickly and safely,” Siburkis said.
Crews could be there for another two weeks.