LES Crew Returns from Helping Superstorm Sandy Victims

By: Kim Eiten Email
By: Kim Eiten Email

"People coming out of their doors and jumping up and down and clapping and they're excited to see you." - Lincoln Electric System lineman

Twenty-three hours and 1,300 miles is a long way to a service call.

For seven Lincoln Electric System lineman, it was the trip to help victims of Superstorm Sandy.

Many people in Long Island, New York are still without power, begging for lights and heat.

Overwhelming, crazy and devastating are just a few ways the crew described what the scene looked like as they worked to restore what many so desperately need: power.

The welcome Traid Rader received there, is not the usual welcome he gets on a call.

"People coming out of their doors and jumping up and down and clapping and they're excited to see you," he said.

But, for many he was the man with the power to give them power.

It's something many haven't had for well over a week.

"When you're out of power and you're out of heat for that long, you're ready to get your power back on," Rader said.

That's easier said than done following the devastation of Sandy.

"Sixty or seventy foot oak trees uprooted," Rader said. "I've never seen that many. Every block there was trees and they just tore everything."

Now, Long Islanders are issuing a plea: don't keep us in the dark.

Rader and the other six in his LES crew spent more than a week trying to turn the lights back on.

"I'm not sure, dating back, when the last time was that we actually went out of state," Rader said. "So, it was quite the deal to travel 23 hours and help these people out."

It's a momentous task nearly 1,300 miles across the country.

But, if you ask Rader, it's just another day on the job.

"It's what we do. We're power lineman. We go help restore power to whoever needs it," he said.

Other men on the crew said the outpouring of thanks was overwhelming.

People with so much damage after the storm left care packages next to power lines and posts for the workers.

It was a small way of saying thank you for bringing back the lights.


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