PSO Workers Home For Holidays After Helping With Superstorm Sandy Damage

Monday, November 19th 2012, 5:58 pm
By: Craig Day

Several hundred PSO workers from Oklahoma are back home in time for Thanksgiving. They've been helping restore power to victims of Superstorm Sandy.

Those storm victims are very thankful this holiday week for the help from the Sooner State.

A few days before Thanksgiving, and these PSO workers are thankful to be back in Oklahoma in time for the holiday.

They've been helping with Superstorm Sandy recovery in New Jersey.

"They were calling in on the radio station there talking about the Oklahoma boys, because we talk funny," said PSO Supervisor Jimmy Wilson.

PSO sent 400 employees and contract workers from Oklahoma to help in the aftermath of Sandy.

"There's not many people that can do what we do, and you're there to make a difference like that and it makes everybody feel great," said PSO worker William Schenk.

10/29/2012 Related Story: Oklahomans Head East To Help With Hurricane Sandy Aftermath

Many of them have responded to disasters before, but this time a second round of weather dumped heavy snow, making things worse for victims and workers alike, and making the need for power more urgent.

"It kind of breaks your heart a little bit, you know you do what you can, but you can't fix everything," Wilson said.

But the Oklahomans fixed a lot, and the people in New Jersey are thankful.

A number of messages have been posted to PSO's Facebook page, by victims in New Jersey, thanking the Oklahomans for coming to help.

"We're paid for what we do, but when it comes one-on-one with the customer, that little bit more helps out a lot. When you're working long hours, and away from home, it helps out a bunch," Schenk said.

The crew spent 13 days in New Jersey, working 16-hour days to help to restore power.

"Every time we turned around, just another handshake or a pat on the back," Schenk said.

"It's just a wonderful feeling, an overwhelming feeling of getting the lights on, seeing the cheers, seeing the people happy, because in most instances that's all they have," Wilson said.

Now home, things are back to normal.

They say they're glad to make it in time for Thanksgiving, but also proud of the job done to help others.

"That's our job: Keep the lights on," Wilson said.

Crews from Oklahoma also helped in Virginia, West Virginia and New York.