Service Master, We Energies crews from WI headed for east coast

MILWAUKEE -- As Hurricane Sandy made landfall on the east coast Monday, October 29th, many in Wisconsin were hard at work, preparing to provide relief to those in the storm's path. Service Master and We Energies are two companies hoping to lend a helping hand when it comes to Hurricane Sandy cleanup efforts.

Service Master is sending a semi to the east coast, packed with about 300 blowers and other equipment, along with four vehicles equipped with a vacuuming apparatus.

Alan Thompson says he knows what the 10 to 20 member crew will face, as he was sent to the same area last year following Hurricane Irene.

"It was a new experience for me because it was the first time on a hurricane job. There was a lot of devastation. I was very surprised with how bad things were out there," Thompson said.

Service Master responds to most major disasters in the country.

The Service Master crew is set to hit the road for the east coast at 4:00 a.m. Tuesday, October 30th. From then on, they'll be hard at work.

"16-17 hours a day, seven days a week. It's pretty rough on a lot of people," Thompson said.

We Energies officials told FOX6 News 50 contract crews have already been dispatched to assist in power restoration efforts. It's part of the voluntary mutual assistance program involving utilities across the country.

"Right now, they're staged in a particular area working with the local municipalities and electric utilities in the east coast and then they'll be dispatched to areas of need," We Energies External Communications Manager Barry McNulty said.

We Energies employees may be sent later if needed, but the utility wants to make sure it has the employees here in Wisconsin to restore any outages that may occur as a result of the anticipated high winds.

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