EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Opinion

November 14, 2012

Editorial: Cheers to those helping Sandy’s victims

Cheers to people across the Merrimack Valley and Southern New Hampshire who are stepping up to help those still struggling to recover from Hurricane Sandy.

Among those are Paul Scovotti, 40, of Haverhill, who works for Verizon out of the company’s Methuen facility. Scovotti is one of 52 Verizon technicians, including eight from the Methuen garage, who have traveled to New York and New Jersey to help restore telephone, television and Internet service wiped out by the late October hurricane.

The Verizon workers are typically in areas where power already has been restored. But the scope of the devastation is still apparent.

“We are in the Coney Island area,” Scovotti told reporter Bill Kirk. “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.”

Others are trying to help with more basic needs.

Utility crews from Massachusetts and New Hampshire are helping New Jersey utilities restore power to the thousands still in the dark. Public Service of New Hampshire sent a convoy of 15 line crews, along with support staff and supervisors. The crews will be helping Jersey Power and Light restore power to the estimated 150,000 customers who were still without it as of late last week.

The PSNH crews joined crews from NSTAR, Western Mass Electric Company and Connecticut Light and Power. Utility mutual aid efforts have restored power to more than 1.5 million customers in impacted areas.

Emergency supplies and food stocks are running low. Bill Burke, owner of Dollar Bill’s Discount World in Derry, drove to New Jersey last weekend to deliver a truck full of supplies.

Burke, a native of New York, has friends and business connections in the New York-New Jersey area.

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