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SRP workers return from Sandy assistance

PHOENIX — They’ve been out of town for a few weeks, but now are looking forward to their first night back in their own beds.

Twenty-two Salt River Project workers returned Friday after helping the Sandy relief efforts in New York. They’ve spent the last two weeks helping to restore power to Long Island.

Donovan Wright saw a lot of damage.

“You could tell there was a lot of high water, which damaged a lot of areas,” he said. “Cars were completely submerged, some were strewn around the streets. A couple of houses burned down. There was a lot of sand in the streets.”

James Christian called the damage he saw “horrific.”

“A lot of places had a four or five feet of water that just lifted the house,” he said. “There were cars that were on the ground when it started, but now had three feet of sand underneath them. They would start floating up, and the sand came in from the beach.”

Christian said residents were very greatful for the efforts of the utility crews.

“It was the best place I’ve ever been in on a storm,” he said. “We had a lot of people greet us and take care of us, as far as talk us and walk us through their property so that we could get to the job. I would say that the majority of people were incredibly nice to us.”

Both Christian and Wright call the two weeks a “worthwhile experience.”

About 40 SRP employees are still working in the New York area.