Superstorm Sandy

We Energies workers headed east to restore power

CREATED Oct. 31, 2012 - UPDATED: Oct. 31, 2012

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  • Melissa McCrady reports. Video by wtmj.com

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RACINE - Dozens of We Energies workers headed east to help restore power in areas affected by Superstorm Sandy.

They were joining 50 employees that We Energies had previously sent east.

"Just to have the opportunity to help people in need, I think it's awesome," said one worker to TODAY"S TMJ4's Melissa McCrady.

These experienced line mechanics gathered together inside before a 400 mile trip to Michigan, where thousands remained without power.

"It's devastating," said Ivan Keller, who made his second special mission trip.

"You have all these millions of customers, people like you and me, families, kids, lights are out, furnaces aren't running.  That's where you really have to feel for those people, trying to get out there so we can help them."

Crews did not know when they'd be returning, but they have packed for several weeks.

"They said, worse case scenario, we could be coming back as late as Thanksgiving."

Keller said the hardest part was the danger working outside their comfort zone, not knowing the systems, voltages, layouts or the utility company that We Energies is assisting.

"We're up against a wall, but the nice thing about this is that we're trained for helping out when times get tough."