Alliant Energy crews back from east coast - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Alliant Energy crews back from east coast

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205 Alliant Energy workers traveled to the east coast to help restore power after Hurricane Sandy.

More than half of those workers were from Iowa.

They've logged more than 30,000 hours on the east coast, helping repair electric lines and gas leaks that came after the storms.

Tuesday several finally got to travel back home.

After weeks of working 16 hour days out east, they're looking forward to seeing their families and finally getting to rest.

"It was starting to wear on people towards the end," said Jason Sauser, Operations Manager.  "It was time to come home."

As the Iowans worked, New Yorkers were surprised to hear the crews traveled from the Midwest to help out.

There was plenty of power line damage," said Sodawasser.  "It made you really feel for the people in the Northeast."

"They were thankful, bringing coffee out for the guys," said Sauser.

But after going for weeks without power, east coasters weren't so patient.

"As we progressed into that second week people were starting to get impatient with the return of electrical services," said Sodawasser.  "We were starting to see that on the streets. People were not looking at us so politely."

Many have said Sandy was a one of a kind storm, but to these workers the damage she left felt familiar.

"A lot was similar to what we have here with our storms-tree damage, wires down, broken cross arms," said Sauser.

"We've been through floods, we've been through windstorms," said Sodawasser.  "We've been through ice storms and we've taken our knowledge and we've actually applied that out to the field and what we can do on the east coast."

Workers did said that each storm presents new challenges, so they'll be able to take some of the things they learned out east and apply them here in Iowa next time there's a big storm.

There's still around 60 Alliant gas employees out east.

They may be home as soon as this weekend.

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