Entergy, local leaders look for opportunity to offer help after Sandy

Published 8:00 pm Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Local Entergy crews are joining emergency responders headed to the Northeast to aid recovery efforts in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

     Entergy has announced it’s sending more than 850 workers into regions impacted by the hurricane, which has left millions in the Northeast without power.

     Entergy’s emergency crews include five workers based at Brookhaven’s Entergy office. Three line crew members left Saturday, a scout left Monday and a service man left Tuesday, said Kenny Goza, local Entergy spokesman.

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     Scouts assess damage after the storm, while other Entergy crews will help rebuild lines.

     Goza said the Brookhaven area won’t be sending any more workers, with the loss of five leaving the office understaffed.

     “We’re operating with a minimal crew,” Goza said.

     Power restoration efforts could take a while, and local Entergy workers have been told they may be gone several weeks.

     “They told them to anticipate two weeks,” Goza said.

     Entergy crews from Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas are headed to storm-ravaged areas.

     Brookhaven has already weathered a hurricane this year, but Mayor Les Bumgarner is keeping a close on another Brookhaven that be harder hit: the town of Brookhaven, N.Y.

     “We need to check on them,” said Bumgarner.

     When Hurricane Katrina lashed the Gulf Coast in 2005, a crew of six paramedics from Brookhaven, N.Y., provided relief to Brookhaven ambulance crews laboring under a large spike in medical calls.

     In 2006, members of the KDMC ambulance service traveled to Brookhaven, N.Y., and were honored for their efforts during Katrina.

     Now, a Brookhaven, N.Y., flag hangs in the city boardroom alongside the flag of Mississippi’s Brookhaven.

     Discussing the aid offered by Brookhaven, N.Y., during Katrina, Bumgarner said he hopes there may be an opportunity to return the favor.

     “We’d like to do something for them,” Bumgarner said.

     However, at nearly 500,000 people, the town of Brookhaven, N.Y., dwarfs the Homeseekers Paradise of Mississippi.

     “It’s hard for us to help someone that big,” Bumgarner said. “We’ll just try to find out their needs and go from there.”