Local Crews Helping With Hurricane Sandy Coverage

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Hurricane Sandy is pounded the East Coast, thousands of miles away, but the storm’s impact is impacting local residents.

Sacramento-area crews from the American Red Cross, PG&E, the National Guard and American Medical Response paramedics have been deployed to help with the storm.

Dawn Lindblom is the CEO of the American Red Cross Capital Region chapter. She says within hours her volunteers were ready to help tackle the aftermath of Sunday.

“We had got a call to action on Friday,” she said. “By Friday evening we had 18 volunteers who had stepped up and said, ‘We’re ready to go.'”

Their job is to provide shelter and comfort for storm victims. One of their toughest challenges was getting them on planes before East Coast airports were shut down.

“So in less 24 hours they were on a plane. Drove down to San Francisco to get on one of the last planes heading out east,” she said.

Local PG&E crews are also being called into action. With massive power outages expected across the region, they are sending 150 personnel to deal with it.

“It’s something we’re called on every once in a while to help our fellow utilities across the nation,” PG&E’s Brandi Ehlers said.

PG&E workers are used to storms – but nothing quite like this.

“But we do deal with heavy winter snows. We’re they’re out to the cold and the rain,” Ehlers said.

PG&E crews are expected to leave for the East Coast later this week. Red Cross volunteers are already on the ground and could be there three weeks or longer.

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