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PG&E Workers Share Stories of Trip Post Super Storm Sandy

By Shay Arthur
Published On: Nov 16 2012 10:32:30 PM CST
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RED BLUFF., Calif -

Two north state PG&E workers recently returned from New York where they were helping repair down power lines post super storm Sandy. 

The images of cars crushed by trees, homes submerged in water, and the millions of people displaced and without power are what come to mind when many think of Sandy.

PG&E sent 262 workers from California, 24 of them from the north state to help bring power back to millions.

"There's no way you can understand what people are going through. You walk through their houses and they would look totally fine from the outside and inside there would be eight feet of water," said Ron Soulliere, a foreman who has been with PG&E for 25 years.

Soulliere and Stan Boone, a troubleman with the electric company, returned from New York on Wednesday.

It was the pair's first trip to the Big Apple, but the two said they were ready for the call for service. 

They worked to bring power back to thousands of people in the Brooklyn and Queens areas.

"We got to work right away just putting poles in the ground and getting wire up. The people who we helped were very friendly and they appreciated all of our work once we got power up for them," said Soulliere. 

The two men watched the news and saw the massive amount of damage to the city before their trip but said nothing could prepare them for the devastation.

"There was nothing the city really could of done to be more prepared for a storm of this size. It was mother nature," said Boone, a 27 year veteran of PG&E.

"There were massive trees down on all the lines. It was black everywhere," added Soulliere. 

For Soulliere this wasn't his first time he's helped in a major storm.

"In 2004 I went to Florida when the same thing was going on and so I was waiting for the call and when I got it I was happy to go."

It was 17 straight days of work in freezing temperatures but Boone said he's happy they were able to bring the storm victims some sense of relief. 

"It was nice helping little kids watch cartoons and elders wanting to be able to stay warm and cook. There were a lot of hugs once we got the power turned back on."

Boone and Soulliere said although it's unlikely they hope everyone on the East coast will have full power restored by Thanksgiving.