Northland Agencies Help Victims of Hurricane Sandy

By KBJR News 1

October 30, 2012 Updated Oct 30, 2012 at 6:33 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (Northland’s NewsCenter) --- Crews from numerous agencies across the Northland have been called on to help restore widespread power outages and damages on the east coast following Hurricane Sandy.

Thirteen linemen from Minnesota Power and Superior Water Light and Power, along with a supervisor and mechanic, left for Baltimore, Maryland around 9 a.m. Tuesday.

They're prepared to stay on the east coast for two weeks.

"I am a little nervous, watching the news and stuff, it doesn't look good out there,” Michael Linn, a MN Power Lineman said. “There are a lot of people without power."

Linn is part of the Midwest Mutual Assistance Group who assisted crews from Baltimore Gas and Electric last year in August in the wake of Hurricane Irene.

"There were jobs out there last August when we helped that other utilities just looked at and thought, wow, we just can't handle that, and our guys went right in and right away volunteered for the tough jobs," John Muehlbauer, Superintendent of Line Operations said.

Meanwhile, two volunteers from Ely and Brimson are representing the Northland Chapter of the American Red Cross.

They are joining seven others from the state of Minnesota to operate shelters as thousands of people take refuge.

"It means a lot to us to be able to repay the favors that we got when we had our floods in June or some of the wildfires that have happened here in the Northland," Judy Hanne Gonzalez, Executive Director of the American Red Cross said.

Several personnel from the Minnesota Incident Command System have also been mobilized to the east coast including personnel from the Department of Natural Resources and US Forest Service.

Northland Coast Guard and Auxiliary units were on stand-by Monday night, but the alert ended earlier Tuesday.

The Wisconsin National Guard also remains on alert.

Jennifer Walch
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