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toronto hydro truck flying a candadian flag A worker attaches a Canadian flag to the back of a Toronto Hydro truck as it prepares to help the American northeast restore power after Superstorm Sandy. (Photo courtesy Tornto Hydro)

Canada Sends Assistance

Toronto power company helps restore power to northeast after Sandy

By Cindy Xiong | January 15 , 2013

When Superstorm Sandy struck earlier this fall, more than 8 million people across North America were left without power. The power outages were widespread, stretching across the East Coast and affecting hundreds of communities. Many homes were left dark and freezing for more than a week.

In the wake of the devastation caused by the superstorm, utility companies in New York, New Jersey, and New England experienced difficulty in restoring power. Other power companies, often based hundreds of miles apart, traveled to the scene to help them. One of these companies was Toronto Hydro, a Canadian company from the province of Ontario.

Sixty-five Toronto Hydro employees volunteered to assist the American power companies in restoring power to their communities. One group of 48 workers traveled to Massachusetts, where they helped repair overhead lines. The other 17 workers were dispatched to New York to help with the underground network.

"The damage was, as I'm sure you know, very significant," Tanya Bruckmueller of Toronto Hydro explained. "Customers there, people there, were out of power for more than a week. Our neighbours in the south needed help so they sent a formal request."

The crews left Canada and crossed the U.S. border on November 7, very early in the morning at 4 a.m. Working long hours in "very difficult conditions," their work helped restore power for thousands of New York and Massachusetts residents. 12 days later, the last workers returned home with no injuries.

Later in November, crews were also honoured by city council for their help in the Superstorm Sandy restoration effort and given a standing ovation.

Many grateful Americans whose power was finally restored sent their thanks to Toronto Hydro, as well, through social media sites and by email.

"Your crews are a class act," one person posted online. Another New York resident shared that her 9-year-old son wanted to help Toronto if they ever experienced a similar disaster.

You can find share your Hurricane Sandy experiences and find more coverage of the storm and its aftermath on the Scholastic News Kids Press Corps Blog.

HURRICANE SANDY RECOVERY SPECIAL REPORT
 
Find out how kids across the country are helping the Hurricane Sandy relief effort — and catch up with the Kid Reporters' on-the-ground reporting during the storm — in the Hurricane Sandy Recovery Special Report.

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