Alliant Energy worker helps restore gas systems in N.Y.

Published 9:36 am Monday, November 12, 2012

An Alliant Energy worker from Albert Lea has become one of thousands to assist in the cleanup of Hurricane Sandy on the East Coast.

Bob Danner, manager of the natural gas system of Albert Lea’s Alliant Energy office, left for Long Island, N.Y., last Monday with 63 other gas workers through the company.

Justin Foss, Alliant Energy spokesman, said Danner and the group arrived in New York on Tuesday night but left to Pennsylvania soon after as a nor’easter swept through.

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They went back to work Thursday and have since been working to restore natural gas to residents in the Breezy Point, N.Y., area.

“They have a lot of work ahead of them,” Foss said. “The natural gas system out there, when all of this hit, it did a lot of damage to it.”

The crews have been working for National Grid, a utility company, turning on gas in areas where it can be turned on and turning off gas meters in other areas where more extensive work needs to be done.

The company had called for mutual assistance.

“It’s not every day people call mutual aid for gas,” Foss said. “It’s common to call mutual aid for electricity, not gas, so when that call went out, we knew they needed the help.”

Foss anticipated the crews would be in New York for about two weeks.

He credited the work of the crews back home — in Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin — for their hard work here to allow the crews to assist there.

“It showcases how much we here in the Midwest come together,” he said.

He said utility companies from as far away as Hawaii have answered the call for help.