Out-of-Town Utility Crews Help Out with Hurrican Sandy

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DICKSON CITY -- Hurricane Sandy is said to affect millions of people across the eastern seaboard. Here in our area, the day was spent preparing for what Sandy may leave behind.

Utility crews from areas of the country that won't feel the hurricane's wrath are helping utilities here, including PPL.

PPL Utilities has staging areas for repair trucks all over our area. Workers had to be called in from areas that won't be affected by the storm. People are here from as far away as Texas, Georgia, and Alabama.

The long empty parking lot at the old Walmart in Dickson City became a command center for cherry pickers. Dozens of utility trucks from out-of-state parked there over the weekend and will be sent out as the calls start coming in that PPL customers have lost power.

The crews came from all over. From Texas, Kentucky, Georgia, and Alabama. Workers spent most of this Monday preparing for what the storm may bring.

"Get our trucks in order, have a job safety briefing with the men in the morning, that takes a while. They have to inspect their trucks and all, and when they get ready for us to go to work, we'll go out," said Gordon Hill who came in from Georgia on Friday.

We heard a lot of southern accents when Newswatch 16 visited the lot in Dickson City. Because PPL anticipated the need for so many extra crews, officials called in workers from areas that won't feel Sandy's wrath.

Crews will leave from the staging areas to fix outages and many of the workers will be going to places they've never been to before.

"Well, we'll have a bird dog with us. We call them bird dogs because all they do is point in the direction, and we go," said Larry Mattingly of Kentucky.

"GPS, they give us the coordinates and we go at it," added Terry Daubert of Alabama.

The workers say when they make these trips they always plan for the worst. They're prepared to be away from home for a month at the most. But, they're hoping damage wont be that bad. They say it all depends on what Sandy brings.

"Really don't know what's going to happen, we'll just have to wait and see," said Daubert.