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Canada Hydro sends additional crews to help out in the United States


A hydro worker in Sarnia was one of two Sandy-related fatalities in Canada
A hydro worker in Sarnia was one of two Sandy-related fatalities in Canada

Staff writers

November 4, 2012 — Additional crews will be making their way south of the border to help out in the harder-hit areas of the United States following super storm Sandy.

Power has been restored to almost all those affected in Canada
Power has been restored to almost all those affected in Canada

A group of Hydro One workers from Burlington, Oakville, Kingston, Milton and Hamilton are en route to join the 145 Ontario hydro workers already helping the northeastern U.S. get back on its feet following super storm Sandy.

The effects of Sandy reached into Canada, knocking out power to 150,000 people in Ontario, 50,000 in Quebec and a few thousand on the east coast at the storm's height early last week.

Hydro One crews have been dispatched to Massachussetts, and other Ontario utilities have sent workers to the U.S. northeast.

They were later dispatched to with New Hampshire, with more workers crossing the border from Quebec Thursday morning, for a total of 200 staff and their vehicles.

Hydro Quebec spokesman Yvan Cliche said the utility could spare the workers now that most outages were fixed.

"We had extra slack, it was easy for us to send some of our staff in the U.S.," he said, adding Hydro Quebec, like many Canadian hydro companies, had mutual assistance agreements with utilities in the U.S.

Outages were also widespread across the northeastern U.S.
Outages were also widespread across the northeastern U.S.

Outages on the east coast of Canada were not as widespread as in Quebec and Ontario.

NB Power reported it has sent 40 workers to Massachussetts, while another 25 from Nova Scotia Power are en route to Connecticut.

In Canada, a hydro worker was killed in Sarnia, Ontario while working on a power line damaged by the storm. The death is under investigation.

The lineman was using a bucket truck to repair fallen power lines when he was electrocuted. The incident occurred around 10 a.m., said Janice McMichael-Dennis, CEO of Bluewater Power. McMichael-Dennis called the death an "unspeakable tragedy," adding the utility has never had a worker die on the job before. 

"Our ultimate goal is to be able to support our lineman's family and ... be able to see if we can work through this day of mourning," she said. "It's a day you never want anybody to have to go through." 

Canada's only other Sandy-related fatality was a Toronto woman who died Monday night when she was hit by a sign blown down as the storm hit. 

Nearly 1 million people in New Jersey and more than 700,000 in New York state remain without power following Sandy making landfall on October 29th.

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