APS workers in NY race to restore power before next storm - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

APS workers in NY race to restore power before next storm

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Another powerful storm is going to bring rain and even snow to the northeast. Some parts will see up to half a foot of snow.

That's not helping some valley power crews who traveled to the east coast to help people get their electricity back.

Three dozen APS workers took off from sunny Phoenix last week to help repair downed power lines in Sandy's aftermath. They were expected to return home soon, but now could be gone for several more weeks thanks to the new storm coming their way.

APS crews are working hard in Long Island helping to restore power after Superstorm Sandy. Now they're facing another challenge -- freezing weather from a nor'easter moving in.

"When we got out here, we expected the unexpected. And this is just another example of some of the conditions that we're facing," said APS worker Steven Gotfried via Skype.

As we were talking, the storm moved in.

"Yeah it is raining on the camera -- there's water on it. Let me dry it off and we'll start over."

Then things got worse.

"As a matter of fact the rain has just turned to snow -- and it's turning back to rain again so we're getting a little bit of snow flurries built into the freezing rain," said Gotfried.

New before-and-after satellite images from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) show the extent of Sandy's devastation. Neighborhoods are wiped out -- places where Gotfried and 35 other APS workers are now racing against the clock to restore power before the next storm moves in.

"Cold is not the problem. Rain is not the problem. It's the high winds… We are working 16 hour days. It's 16 hours on, 8 hours off."

Gotfried said safety is the number one priority, and crews can't work on repairing power lines when winds get too strong. They are expecting that this nor'easter could take down even more power lines.

Related story: Power crews fly to Long Island to aid millions still in the dark

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