Most of the Verizon workers are going into areas where power has been restored, but they have seen, and heard about, some of the devastation wrought by the hurricane.
“We are in the Coney Island area,” said Paul Scovotti, 40, of 5 Mears Farm Road, Haverhill, who usually works out of the Methuen garage near the Loop. “It’s one of the hardest hit areas. The water level was up 10 feet here. There’s debris on the street - people are trying to pull things out of their house that were ruined, and there’s stuff piled up on the street.”
Scovotti, who is working on getting phone and Internet service back up for thousands of residential and commercial customers, said customers are “thankful we are there getting them back in service.”
He is one of a number of technicians in the New York/New Jersey area who will be deployed in the region until Dec. 21. He said he expects to be home for Thanksgiving, but then will head back to get to work.
He said he’ll miss his family, including his wife and two daughters, ages 18 and 14, but that they understand why he has to be away.
“They’re sad I have to come down here but proud we’ve stepped up and come down here to help these people who need help,” he said.
One of his co-workers, Ed Phaneuf, 46, of Tewksbury, agreed.
He said his wife will be busy driving his three kids around to basketball games, but they apppreciate what he’s doing.
“My family is kind of used to it,” he said. “They are behind me. They think it’s cool that dad’s going to help people who need help. I want to go down, my fellow Americans are in pain right now, and I am in a position to offer help. Plus, it’s extra money so it will be a nice holiday season for the family.”