Toronto Hydro crews to help U.S. fix Sandy damage

Toronto Hydro has sent 65 crew members to the eastern United States to help restore power in the wake of superstorm Sandy.

The Toronto Hydro technicians and supervisors left early Wednesday morning for New York and New Jersey. The group includes two teams — one working to restore overhead lines, while the other will focus on repairing underground lines.

The Toronto Hydro group is travelling in a fleet of maintenance vehicles, including digging trucks and aerial platforms to help the repair effort.

Sandy, which struck the eastern seaboard early last week, left more than 100 people dead in 10 states. Half a million people in New York State remain without power, and more than 800,000 are still without power in New Jersey a week after the storm.

The Toronto Hydro group expects to spend seven to 10 days working in the U.S. After that, they will consider extending their stay or the group will be spelled by second team.

"We're hoping that it will make a significant impact," said Tanya Bruckmueller of Toronto Hydro. She said the request for help came from the U.S. early last week but at the time Toronto Hydro crews were busy repairing Sandy damage in Toronto.

Ben Lapianta, Toronto Hydro’s vice-president of grid management, said the company had a "moral and ethical" obligation to help.

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