Mississippi Power helps storm victims in Northeast - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Mississippi Power helps storm victims in Northeast

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BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

Mississippi Power crews are back home after helping the Northeast recover from super storm Sandy. Nearly 80 employees of the utility company spent 18 days restoring power in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

What Mississippi Power company crews witnessed in the Northeast, brought back memories of 2005.

"Having lived through Katrina, a number of our employees knew we were very, very capable of restoring power there. They were very compassionate, having lived through it firsthand. So, it was really a great experience for all of us," said team leader Steven Dingler.

Unlike the sweltering summer heat when Katrina hit here, it was a much different weather mix up north.

"It was very challenging at times. Not only did you have the dangerous conditions, the hazards associated with doing the work, but you had very frigid temperatures. The roads were iced over. There was a lot we had to deal with that we typically don't deal with in a hurricane," said Dingler.

Power company crews worked 16 hour days helping restore electricity to communities in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Dingler says his most vivid memory came at the end of a long work day in Elizabeth City, New Jersey when the lights finally came back on.

"The people came out and opened up their windows and were hollering at our guys. Our guys were clapping. It was like, in some way we were almost heroes, because we were able to restore electricity," he said.

Although they don't see themselves that way, the grateful thanks of a community certainly makes it rewarding work.

"You don't realize until the lights are out, how much we need electricity. And I can tell you firsthand, that there were a number of folks up there that were probably more appreciative of that, than anything else, when their lights were turned back on," Dingler explained.

The host utility company pays the expenses of the visiting power company crews. Dingler says the various utility companies, including the Southern Company, have cooperative agreements in place to assist other areas when hurricanes or other disasters strike.

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