Conn. utility crews aid NY, NJ, Pa. restore power

Connecticut Light & Power crews leave Connecticut to help restore power in Pennsylvania, Feb. 6, 2014.

BERLIN, Conn. (WTNH) — In one critical respect, Connecticut got a break in this latest snowstorm. There were only few hundred power outages.

But it was a much different scenario in places like Pennsylvania, New Jersey and parts of New York state, where tens of thousands have lost electricity.

In recent years, following storms like Sandy and Irene, we’ve seen crews from other states come to Connecticut to help restore the power here.

This time around the shoe is on the other foot.

It was pre-dawn start for lineman Josh Marsele and more than 80 other CL&P workers Thursday morning.

Some, like Josh are heading to the Philadelphia area, where an ice storm has left hundreds of thousands without power.

“Just a civic duty what a lineman does,” said Josh Marsele, CLP lineman.

But it’s not just CL&P crews. Almost 50 United Illuminating workers are also volunteering to help areas battered by the storm.

There days will be long 16 hours at time in the toughest of conditions.

“It’s going to be cold and damp, our customers , those customers are going to be concerned and impaction and our guys are coming to the rescue and they’ll put the lights on and do it safely,” said Steven Gilkery, VP CL&P.

The concept of helping out other utility companies is standard procedure in the industry what’s known as mutual aid.

And for workers like Josh, the ultimate pay off is sweet.

“You get a rush when it’s nighttime and there’s no lights in sight and you throw on a fuse and the whole neighborhood lights up, you know that’s what it’s all about at the end of the day,” said Marsele.

Those CL&P workers expect to be away from home for at least three or four days and again they will be putting in 16 hour days in very harsh conditions.

But for those in the dark, their presence will be like the cavalry coming to town.

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