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Washington - US Military Flying Power Equipment To NY's Storm Area

Published on: November 1, 2012 04:59 PM
By: AP
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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (C) helps National Guard troopers load food and water onto trucks to distribute to those in need, as the city tries to recover from the after effects of Hurricane Sandy in New York, New York, USA, 01 November 2012.  EPA/ANDREW GOMBERTNew York Governor Andrew Cuomo (C) helps National Guard troopers load food and water onto trucks to distribute to those in need, as the city tries to recover from the after effects of Hurricane Sandy in New York, New York, USA, 01 November 2012.  EPA/ANDREW GOMBERT

Washington - In a rare airlift, the Defense Department is flying 17 aircraft from California to New York loaded with power generation equipment and crews to help restore electricity to the millions of homes and businesses devastated by Superstorm Sandy.

The Pentagon says the 630 tons of equipment is being provided by Southern California power companies, including Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas and Electric Co.

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The equipment includes 10 double bucket trucks, nearly 20 pick-up trucks, and a number of other trucks and equipment, as well as a mobile command center. It was to arrive Thursday at the Air National Guard base at Stewart International Airport north of New York City.

The massive transport operation was conceived Tuesday afternoon during a teleconference call among utility executives, President Barack Obama, Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Craig Fugate and Energy Secretary Steven Chu.

According to the White House, West Coast utility executives said they had equipment ready to travel overland to storm-stricken areas. Obama initially said the utilities should inform Fugate of their highway routes to ensure the quickest passage.

Fugate then indicated he would consult with the Pentagon about the possibility of using military transport planes. At that point Obama, who had entered into the call unannounced from the White House Situation Room, instructed Fugate to make that happen immediately.

The White House provided details of the call Thursday, eager to showcase the role of the president and the federal government in the disaster response.

The Air Force said it was deploying 17 cargo planes to the airlift mission, including C-5s and C-17s. Aircraft and crews from 12 active duty, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve bases were assembling at March Air Reserve Base in California to pick up the equipment. White House officials said such a mission is rare but not unprecedented; military planes have delivered equipment in the past to islands that have been hard hit by weather.

Utilities closer to New York, New Jersey and Connecticut already have been sending crews and equipment to troubled areas.

Pentagon officials also said three warships were moving up the East Coast and would be ready to provide assistance if needed.


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Read Comments (4)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Nov 01, 2012 at 05:27 PM LionofZion Says:

To be honest, 10 bucket trucks and 20 pickups does not sound like a lot of equipment. I know a guy who managed to get to Ohio and back in order to make some money selling generators. It would be nice if our utility companies would find some trucks in Ohio and bring them in to get my electricity back up. They could have been here 4 days ago.

2

 Nov 01, 2012 at 06:08 PM Yanki Says:

"At that point Obama, who had entered into the call unannounced" ...lets kiss his majesties feet for. Can you phantom what would have happened otherwise??

Btw Where are gas trucks to fill our cars?

3

 Nov 01, 2012 at 07:51 PM Yossel Says:

Reply to #2  
Yanki Says:

"At that point Obama, who had entered into the call unannounced" ...lets kiss his majesties feet for. Can you phantom what would have happened otherwise??

Btw Where are gas trucks to fill our cars?

The President ordered him not to delay. Even when he is trying to help you, all you do is hate.

4

 Nov 01, 2012 at 08:36 PM Anonymous Says:

Driving back to Baltimore this afternoon from NYC, I noticed there were literally dozens of trucks pulling small mobile generators heading north on the NJTurnpike...at the rest area, I noticed that most of them had Florida and South Carolina license plates. When I asked one of the drivers waiting to fill up his gas tank at a long line he mentioned that the word had gone out in Florida that portable generators were being rented out in NYC for 5x to 10x the normal daily rate they get in Florida. For these southerners, its an opportunity to makes several months income in several days. The free market uber allis....

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