Xcel Energy is sending more than 30 of its Texas-New Mexico employees to Wytherville, Va., to help Appalachian Power Company in restoring electricity service after Superstorm Sandy.
Sandy caused tens of thousands of customers along the East Coast to lose power.
The employees who are traveling to help are based in Hobbs, Carlsbad, Clovis, Tucumcari and Roswell in New Mexico; and Levelland, Seminole, Plainview, Canyon, Hereford, Amarillo, Borger, Perryton and Lubbock in Texas, Xcel said.
Appalachian Power Company, a unit of American Electric Power, made the request for help through a national mutual-aid network and spefically asked for Xcel's help.
"We feel for the thousands of Virginians who are suffering the impacts of this storm, and we know if we were affected by a natural disaster, other companies would help us ," Riley Hill, president and CEO of Southwestern Public Service Company, an Xcel Energy company said. " We have some of the best linemen in the nation, and we're honored to play a role in helping our neighbors, even if they live more than 1,000 miles away."
The teams traveling to the area consist of representatives from management, field operations, fleet mechanics and safety consultants, Xcel said.
"As in any restoration effort, safety is our number one concern, and we'll meet up each day in safety huddles to share best practices that will keep us sharply focused on performing this work without injuries," Hill said.