New York residents praise, thank Gastonia crew - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

New York residents praise, thank Gastonia crew for restoring power

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VALLEY STREAM, NY (WBTV) -

Residents of a neighborhood devastated by Superstorm Sandy are thanking a City of Gastonia Electric crew that restored power to their homes.

Last week, WBTV reported Gastonia sent twelve electric division employees to Long Island with six heavy duty vehicles. The men are working with other crews from Statesville, NC and Chattanooga, TN to restore power to some hard-hit areas of New York.

Valley Stream resident Maureen Buckley sent the following email to WBTV's Kristy Etheridge Monday night:

The Gastonia crew came through my town yesterday like a whirlwind! 7 days with no power and heat and utter devastation here on our shoreline. Their slogan says it all: "Great Place, Great People, Great Promise".
 
They were incredible. They worked hard and fast and very long hours. It's amazing how much power they restored in such a short time. The whole neighborhood came out to cheer them as they moved onto the next grid. Words cannot express our gratitude and I believe they saw it from the tears in our eyes.
 
They left their homes and their families to help us. Bless them all!

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.

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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