Hydro-Quebec sends over 200 workers to assist storm-battered New York
MONTREAL – Over 200 Hydro-Quebec linemen are heading to Long Island, New York to help American authorities deal with power outages caused by the major winter storm battering the eastern United States.
The workers were busy Friday making last-minute preparations before setting off on the road.
Hydro-Quebec officials said that they were happy to lend a helping hand. Adding that it was only natural to do so in emergency situations.
“They will help the electricity utility of Long Island in case of power cuts,” said Marc-Antoine Pouliot, spokesperson for Hydro-Quebec in a phone interview. “Typically, it is trees that are falling down on lines, and they have to work to restore power.”
In such circumstances, it is the agency requesting assistance that is responsible for covering the costs of the operation.
According to Global News meteorologist Ross Hull, the storm is among the top 10 biggest storms to hit the New York City area.
But American winter storm expert Paul Kocin, who co-wrote a two-volume textbook on blizzards, said that for New York and Washington the storm was looking more like a top five. “It’s a big one,” he said.
The city came to a stand-still on Saturday as New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a travel ban, ordering all non-emergency vehicles off the roads by mid-afternoon. Mayor Bill de Blasio urged Broadway theatres and restaurants to close. The city’s commuter rails and above-ground segments of the subway were to shut down too, along with buses.
WATCH BELOW: Blizzard clobbers New York and eastern U.S.
With files from The Associated Press.