GREEN BAY - Helping those in need on the East Coast are Wisconsin Public Service crews from Northeast Wisconsin.
Workers arrived last weekend to repair downed power lines from Superstorm Sandy, but now have a nor'easter on their hands as well.
WPS crews left for Connecticut a few days after Sandy hit the east coast to help get the power back on.
"They went out and started cutting trees putting up wire and turning people back on. We did that for probably the last few days," said Paul Hughes in a phone interview from southwest Connecticut.
More than two dozen people and 11 line trucks deployed to Norwalk and New Canaan, Connecticut. Crews say they feel for those left in the dark.
"One lady came out after we got her back on and said she was out 7 days almost to the minute. And it gets pretty cool at night, or it has been, so yeah it's pretty rough," said Hughes.
Hughes said while crews have certainly dealt with people's frustrations, residents on the East Coast have also been very gracious.
"People would come up and shake your hand and say thanks, they really appreciated it," Hughes said.
Now that a nor'easter has left its mark, bringing a messy mix of snow rain and slush to Sandy-damaged areas, the work will continue.
"We got snow here, they were expecting higher winds in the lower Connecticut area. We didn't really see the high winds, but I would say maybe three to four inches," said Hughes.
Hughes said few outages were reported after snow hit the area, but other parts of the East Coast have it worse. So, WPS crews headed to Somerset, New Jersey Thursday afternoon.
Many homeowners in the state were dealing with the below-freezing temperatures with no heat. Hundreds of thousands were without electricity. Hughes expected a lot of work.
"It's still restoration from Sandy and then maybe a little bit from this nor'easter," said Hughes.
WPS officials said fortunately the utility is able to spare the workers, and add helping out is the right thing to do.
"We've been in situations where we've had to ask for other utility companies to come into our area and help us during tornadoes or bad storms so we definitely wanted to make sure we could reciprocate," said WPS spokesperson Lisa Prunty.
WPS crews are expected to return to Wisconsin next Thursday.
If more help is needed, the utility will evaluate its resources and possibly send additional help.
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