Xcel Energy to help restore power after Hurricane Sandy - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Xcel Energy to help restore power after Hurricane Sandy

A major obstacle for those who were in the path of Hurricane Sandy is restoring power.

Xcel Energy will be making it's way to Wytheville, Virginia hit with heavy snowstorms, leaving many without power.

Hurricane Sandy spawned heavy snowstorms which left tens of thousands of customers in the dark.

"This is AEP territory. Appalachian Power is part of AEP. They've said we've had a good experience with Xcel Energy, we know they have the equipment and the know how to get this done. And so, that's why we're going to Virginia," Wes Reeves, Xcel Energy spokesman says.

Thirty-three Xcel Energy employees make up this convoy that's heading out east to Virginia to help restore power.

"It's a volunteer effort. So, we put the call out to managers, how many folks do you think in your area might want to do this. And that comes together pretty fast. And, most of these guys have done this kind of thing before," Reeves says.

This crew will be gone for more than a week.

"You know all of us, certainly our families are going to miss us. I know mine is. But, I guess being in the utility industry, everyone knows that's a possibility, unspoken rule," Jay Smith, Director of Distribution New Mexico for Xcel Energy says.

There are some obstacles they expect to see out in Virginia.

"Working in an unfamiliar environment. I mean, you know west Texas and New Mexico, obviously we're not very familiar with and hills. That, we're also going to an area that received a large amount of snow. So, those two things are really going to pose challenges" Smith says.

But they will be equipped for those.

"We have vehicles that are equipped to drive in the snow for instance. Even though we're not in the mountains, we are in a snow area where we do get snow in the winter time. We have experience of course with dealing with snow," Reeves says.

Xcel says they feel for the thousands who are affected by the storm, and if we were affect by a disaster other companies would help us.

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