Okanagan-Shuswap crews continue hurricane help

Aerial Contractors employees are still busy lighting up the lives of easterners who lost power to deadly Hurricane Sandy.

  • Nov. 23, 2012 1:00 p.m.
Aerial Contracting linesmen Kris Dawson and Garry McGinnis work on restoring power to Long Island.

Aerial Contracting linesmen Kris Dawson and Garry McGinnis work on restoring power to Long Island.

barb brouwer

Black Press

Employees of a local power company are still busy lighting up the lives of easterners who lost power to deadly Hurricane Sandy.

With offices in Vernon and Salmon Arm, Aerial Contractors  hopped onboard the helping train quickly, deploying 15 men Nov. 3, with six bucket trucks and three digger derrick units, along with service mechanics to support restoration efforts on Long Island and in New Jersey.

And, after two weeks working long days on the line, the company continues to help out with power line restorations on Long Island.

“We were in the trenches,” says Shelley Dawson, co-owner of Aerial’s Salmon Arm branch, noting that after several days of sleeping in trucks and empty warehouses, the crews managed to secure a limited number of  hotel rooms.

“They are working 16-hour shifts and are pretty exhausted by the end of the day,” Dawson says. “It takes a dedicated professional to continue working during these types of conditions.”

The crews were scheduled for a release Sunday, but with  many isolated outages remaining, they have been reassigned to other jobs.

“It says a lot about the culture of the power lineman trade,” she says. “Even while under enormous stress and fatigue, they remain very professional and courteous to the frustrated people on Long Island.”