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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

BPA crews among region’s Sandy aid

Efforts to restore electricity in the storm-ravaged New York region are getting a Spokane-area boost.

Several utility crews from the Bonneville Power Administration have been sent to Long Island, N.Y., to assist crews trying to get the lights back on.

The 19 volunteers and five of their 14 trucks were loaded onto a military transport jet Saturday at Fairchild Air Force Base, officials said. They were flown to an Air Force base in New Jersey, where they were expected to drive the rest of the way to Long Island.

Fairchild was advised of the relief mission late Friday, and it mobilized airmen to prep and load the equipment for the flight.

“Our logistics airmen were running 24-hour operations as soon as we were notified,” Air Force Col. Shawn Teagan, operations group commander for the Fairchild-based 92nd Air Refueling Wing, said in prepared remarks. “The attention to detail they’ve given to this mission has been first class.”

Pilots flew a C-5 Galaxy aircraft to Fairchild from Travis Air Force Base to help deliver supplies. Two C-17s from Joint Base Charleston, S.C., also were used to transport goods.

Local volunteers with the Inland Northwest Red Cross chapter have been helping with the East Coast recovery.

The nonprofit has deployed 30 volunteers from the Inland Northwest. Of those volunteers, 14 were from the Spokane area and North Idaho.

The Red Cross pressed a retired employee from Elk into service as the operations manager for relief in New York. Glenn Lockwood, 67, was stationed in metropolitan New York City as Sandy struck the coast.

The Red Cross also transported three emergency response vehicles to shuttle food, water, medical supplies and blankets to neighborhoods impacted by the storm.