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Power Crews From A Dozen States Helping In Restoration Effort

Utility trucks from Georgia head up the New Jersey Turnpike - Nov. 2, 2012 (credit: Pamela Lynch / Special to CBSNewYork)

Utility trucks from Georgia head up the New Jersey Turnpike – Nov. 2, 2012 (credit: Pamela Lynch / Special to CBSNewYork)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Reinforcements have been called in from a dozen states to help utility companies in the Tri-State Area get power restored as quickly as possible.

Crews from Georgia Power got the call on Monday as Sandy was walloping the region to head nearly 1,000 miles north and lend a hand.

WCBS 880’s Monica Miller reports

“We ended up trucking some of our vehicles up and put the crews on a motorcoach so they would have a chance to rest,” Jim Dance of Georgia Power told WCBS 880’s Monica Miller. “We’ve been working right at 15, 16 hours a day.”

Dance said his crew of 50 has been working on restoring power from Con Edison’s temporary post in Union Square.

“You have to go into the underground system. They have switches that you have to go in and check out. A lot of this equipment’s gotten wet,” said Dance.

But he said even getting to downtown Manhattan has been its own hurdle, and food is becoming harder to come by.

“We’ve been staying some in Delaware and driving in. Just recently we were able to get a room over here at LaGuardia,” Dance told Miller.

EXTRA: Check Latest Power Outage Information

But the notes of thanks written in chalk in Union Square make it all worthwhile, Dance said.

“So that helps a lot to keep you going,” said Dance. “A lot of the guys that are here, they like trying to help people out. They really get a personal gratification out of that.”

As of 2 p.m. Friday, just under a half a million people in New York City remained in the dark. Nearly 1.5 million customers in New Jersey were still without power.

On Wednesday, Gov. Chris Christie announced he had spoken with the governors of Alabama, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Massachusetts and Virginia, who all pledged utility crews to New Jersey. South Carolina had already dispatched 185 utility workers, he said.