Gastonia crew in New York helping restore power - | WBTV Charlotte

Gastonia crew in New York helping restore power


A City of Gastonia Electric crew is in New York working to help restore power to the millions who lost it during Superstorm Sandy.

Gastonia responded to a call for help from ElectraCities Mutual Aide, asking for crews to assist Long Island Power Authority (LIPA).

At the height of the storm, one million LIPA customers were without power...about 90 percent of the company's customers.

Gastonia sent twelve electric division employees to Long Island with six heavy duty vehicles. The men are working with other crews from Statesville and Chattanooga, TN.

Robbie Barger is the operations supervisor for City of Gastonia Electric. He's supervising the team of 25 linemen in Long Island.

"It's pretty bad up here," said Barger during a phone interview Friday afternoon. "Trees everywhere, houses demolished. The main thing is just getting to the job site. Having to fight the debris."

The team arrived on Long Island late Thursday night. They work for sixteen hours straight, then sleep for eight....or try to.

"We are staying in a tractor trailer. It has 36 beds in it, so we're all bunked up nice and tightly together," said Barger with laugh. "Can you imagine 36 men in one room on bunk beds?"

He said residents he's met have expressed their gratitude to the out-of-town crews.

"They just appreciate what we're doing, coming all the way from North Carolina."

He says other crews have pitched in before to help out Gastonia, and that's why he does what he does.

"Time to return a favor!"

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