More than 1,000 Florida Power & Light workers are still up north, helping homes and businesses restore power after a double whammy: First, Hurricane Sandy and then a powerful winter storm that blew the lights out again.
The hurricane left at least 85 people dead and about eight million people without power from Virginia to New Jersey. Relief efforts were further hampered last week when a nor'easter dumped snow on the northeast and brought down more power lines. FPL Incident Commander Ralph Grant's crew is working in Paramus, N.J. He says he was struck by the number of power lines taken out by fallen trees. "Big trees, too," he says. " I mean, we're used to vegetation in Florida, but these trees are a lot larger. Big, hardwood trees and they do a lot of damage when they come down. And that's the majority of what we're seeing is trees taking down lines and breaking multiple poles and taking down multiple spans of wire," says Grant. The FPL crews were dispatched as part of a mutual assistance partnership with other states. Linemen from Georgia came down to help FPL last month, after Sandy left parts of Florida without power.