On January 14, 2013, Iowa Governor Terry E. Branstad, Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds, and the Iowa Utilities Board recognized Iowa’s utility and contracting companies as well as 385 utility workers that assisted with the Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts by restoring essential natural gas and electric services to the Eastern United States. Approximately 70 of the honored workers were present for the formal ceremony at the State Capitol.
Utilities Board Chair Libby Jacobs provided a special welcome to the utility and contractor company representatives, as well as to the workers in attendance at the formal ceremony in the State Capitol. She cited the numerous reports of profound gratitude expressed by east coast residents and said that the companies and workers had represented the State of Iowa in an exemplary manner.
Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds said it was an honor to address all those who had volunteered so much time and effort to help their fellow American citizens. She noted that they worked 16-hour days for weeks at a time in difficult conditions. She thanked them all for their service and their tremendous efforts to help those impacted by the super storm.
Governor Terry Branstad thanked everyone for the opportunity to recognize and honor their superb volunteer work in helping fellow Americans. “We are proud and appreciate you volunteering,” said Governor Branstad. “While many watched on television and saw incredible damage and destruction, you traveled to be there and help through hard work in a time of need.”
During the ceremony, Governor Branstad asked workers from the following companies, who assisted the Hurricane Sandy recovery, to stand and be recognized by everyone in attendance:
- Alliant/Interstate Power and Light Company
- Asplundh Tree Expert Company
- Aurelia Municipal Utility
- Cedar Falls Utilities
- ITC Midwest’s contractors – M.J. Electric, LLC and L.E. Myers Co.
- Lake Park Municipal Utilities
- Michels Power
- MidAmerican Energy Company
- Muscatine Power and Water
- Waverly Light and Power
The Governor noted that Muscatine Power & Water employees provided mutual aid for the first time outside the State of Iowa in the recovery effort. In addition, he congratulated Alliant /Interstate Power and Light Company and MidAmerican Energy Company for both receiving the annual 2012 Edison Electric Institute Emergency Assistance Award for outstanding efforts in restoring utility services to the public in response to Hurricane Sandy. Following the formal ceremony, the honorees in attendance were able to meet and greet Governor Branstad and Lt. Governor Reynolds and have photos taken. Iowa utility workers received individual certificates signed by the Governor and Lt. Governor for their service to utility customers impacted by Hurricane Sandy.
Hurricane Sandy Recovery and Iowa Assistance Facts
- As many as 8.5 million U.S. homes and businesses lost power when Hurricane Sandy struck the Eastern United States on October 29, 2012. New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, and 12 other eastern states were impacted.
- Before Hurricane Sandy made landfall, Iowa utilities deployed hundreds of workers to help the citizens of the storm-damaged areas regain essential electric and natural gas utility services.
- Workers from Iowa utilities and contractors helped restore additional service outages from a significant nor’easter storm on the heels of Hurricane Sandy with rain, snow, and winds up to 55 miles per hour.
- Personnel from five Iowa municipal utilities teamed up with each other, along with crews of other states’ utilities providing mutual aid from across the country and Canada.
- Four Cedar Falls Utilities’ line crewmen teamed up with two employees of Waverly Light & Power. Working in rain and snow on Long Island, their crew helped restore electric substation operations and power to residential and commercial customers.
- Muscatine Power & Water personnel teamed with Florida crews and worked on Long Island for two weeks, primarily in residential neighborhoods. They walked and climbed poles frequently because power lines there were not readily accessible by truck. Loose, sandy soil, flood damage, and deep snow complicated their restoration efforts.
- An Aurelia and Lake Park lineman teamed up to assist in the east coast recovery effort. Arriving in Long Island, they joined crew members from Minnesota and Canada and worked around Miller Place, which is near the North Shore. Their crew replaced poles and transformers, restrung electric lines, and worked in rain, snow, and wind during the nor’easter storm
- In New York State, Alliant/Interstate Power and Light Company workers helped restore the West Hempstead natural gas system and electrical service to Central Hudson customers near Lake Katrine, in addition to assisting ConEdison crews to restore power around Yorktown Heights.
- MidAmerican Energy Company personnel provided assistance to two New York utilities, Central Hudson Gas and Electric and New York State Electric and Gas. The MidAmerican crews were dispatched to provide emergency restoration service by restringing wires, replacing poles, and cutting trees and branches that fell on power lines in the areas between Poughkeepsie, Albany, and Ellenville, New York.