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Local Utility Workers Head East To Restore Power In Hurricane Sandy's Wake

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Local utility workers from Southern California have been heading East to help restore electricity to nearly 2 millions residents who still don't have power in the wake of Hurricane Sandy's devastation.

This morning 60 workers from the LADWP were heading out to help restore power to the 400,000 customers of the Long Island Power Authority who still don't have power after Hurricane Sandy hit almost a week ago. The L.A. City Council passed an emergency motion on Wednesday to send workers who have the right expertise. (And don't worry, the council expects that the federal government—not the city—will foot the bill.)

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said in a statement: "In the wake of such a tragic and devastating storm, I am proud that crews from the Department of Water and Power will head to New York to join the enormous and complex effort to restore power to so many people who are suffering. I wish them a safe journey and know they will bring their expertise and skill to a task where time is of the essence."

The U.S. Air Force is transporting utility vehicles from all over the country to the devastated region.

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Southern California Edison already has 120 workers and 70 trucks deployed to New York and New Jersey, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports. They received a warm greeting from local residents, as they restored power.

"(Drivers) were slowing down and rolling their windows down, shaking our hands and thanking us," Edison spokesman Daniel Chung told the Press-Enterprise.

Yesterday local crews restored power to 2,000 customers, including a 185-room retirement home in Montvale, New Jersey.

For more coverage of Hurricane Sandy's aftermath, check out our sister site Gothamist, which is reporting that NYC's subways should start service again tomorrow, that crime is going down (as the body count rises) and that tensions are still high at local gas stations.