EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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November 13, 2012

Valley comes to aid of storm-ravaged NY, NJ

(Continued)

Phaneuf said his role has been to restore service to residential customers. He said he’s heard a number of horror stories.

Even Verizon’s Brooklyn garage he’s working out of had 6 feet of water in it, which destroyed trucks and equipment.

He said the wife of one of the people he’s working with lost a cousin when his house was flooded.

Another co-worker had to be rescued from the second floor of his house when water went from three inches in the back yard to waist-deep in the front yard in a matter of minutes.

“He was in his car and the water was up over the door,” Phaneuf said. “He climbed out the rear window, waded into his house, and went up to the second floor with his wife.”

He said they looked down and saw water coming up the stairs. They had to be rescued from a second-story window by a boat.

He said he’s happy to help.

“At Verizon, in a time of crisis, we don’t walk away from it, we walk toward it,” he said.

Meanwhile, two employees of Climate Design Systems, 15 Aegean Drive, Unit 3, Methuen, also volunteered to help out.

Another heating and air-conditioning owned by Climate Design, Matz Right-Way of Hampton Bays, Long Island, was so slammed with work they needed help, said Luanne Little, residential sales coordinator for the Methuen company.

“We sent two men down, they left Sunday, and they’ll be there for a week,” she said. John Batal and Michael Matteo, both seasoned boiler mechanics and both from Methuen, agreed to go and help out.

Phil Rush, general manager of Matz Right-Way, said he put them right to work.

“I have so much work going on now, they have to keep working,” Rush said. “You tell somebody they won’t get their heat turned on until December or January and you lose customers. I brought them down here just to get customers back on line.”

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