Heroes in Sandy’s aftermath

Published 11:41 am Tuesday, December 11, 2012

By SLADE BLACKWELL / Guest Columnist

Recently, residents in New England and up the East Coast dealt with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. From flooded streets and destroyed homes to downed power lines, Sandy proved to be one of the most destructive storms ever to hit the East Coast.

With an estimated 8.5 million people left without power across 21 states, power crews from all over the United States were sent up to affected states to restore power, including crews from our own Alabama Power.

According to Alabama Power Company, over 900 employees were deployed to New York and New Jersey. Many of them left their homes and families to work 16-hour days to help restore power and a sense of normalcy to the people affected most by Sandy.

While it is not uncommon for Alabama Power or other utility companies to send crews to other states to help in a disaster, the crews from Alabama Power received a warm welcome and became instant heroes for many in the wake of a terrible storm.

Over the past few weeks I have heard story after story about how hardworking, professional and hospitable the Alabama Power crews were while working in the Northeast. I have seen pictures of Alabama Power trucks lining the snow-filled streets of New Jersey, crews working throughout the night in Union Square in New York City and signs made by children thanking the crews for helping get the power back on in their neighborhood.

I even heard a story about a radio station in New Jersey playing the familiar tune “Sweet Home Alabama” in honor of the Alabama Power crews that were sent to work in that particular city.

Stories like these are the ones that make me proud to be from Alabama. As a state senator, I am proud to say that I have several constituents that work for Alabama Power as lineman and engineers.

I want to congratulate and thank the crews from Alabama Power for their hard work during these difficult times in the Northeast but also for representing Alabama well. You continue to make us proud.

Slade Blackwell is serving his first term in the Alabama State Senate representing Jefferson and Shelby Counties in District 15.