Mon October 29, 2012

Far From Sandy, Colorado Prepares To Lend A Hand

Even in land locked Colorado, resources are being marshaled to help support efforts around Sandy.

The U.S. Northern Command, based in Colorado Springs, has placed helicopters and rescue teams on alert and dispatched medical planners to help cope with the damage from the super-storm battering the east coast.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta appointed Dual-Status Commanders to oversee Active Duty and National Guard troops helping with storm responses across the east coast. Normally, Active Duty and Guard Troops report to different commanders.

Meanwhile, eastern U.S. utility companies are warning tens of thousands of customers may be without power for days. With East Coast utilities already requesting manpower from other parts of the country, Xcel Energy workers in Colorado are ready to help.

Gabriel Romero, a Colorado Spokesman for Xcel Energy, says while there has not yet been a call for assistance from Xcel Energy workers in Colorado, it’s likely to happen in the near future.

“There is a wait and see at the moment. We’re very likely to be sending people out there, but we can’t make that assumption. You have to wait and see what exactly they need, how many people we can accommodate them with. As far as Xcel Energy is concerned we’re in a holding pattern for the moment.”

Romero says Xcel workers from the state can volunteer to help restore power to areas affected by Hurricane Sandy if and when East Coast power utilities call for assistance. Romero added sending crews to the east coast is also dependent on the number of outstanding energy issues in Colorado and the surrounding territory.