CWAers Respond to Hurricane Sandy


An AT&T crew assesses downed poles and wires after Hurricane Sandy related weather in Stamford, Conn. Photo by Stamford Advocate. View more photos here.

Across the Eastern Seaboard, from North Carolina to New England, members from all of CWA's sectors have been working tirelessly through Hurricane Sandy and its devastating aftermath. Many CWAers themselves are coping with tremendous storm damage, the loss of electrical power and telephone service and other hardships while stepping up to help restore their communities.

In New Jersey, one of the hardest hit areas, CWA public worker members are on the job nearly round-the-clock. The roads departments have been clearing and repairing roads and bridges, and 911 dispatchers took emergency calls and helped people get rescued and medical attention. The Health Department staff has been working with hospitals, nursing homes and other medical facilities that have lost power. The Department of Environmental Protection staff is investigating the environmental impacts from the storm, such as oil spills, nuclear power plant alerts, shore erosion and other damage.

Throughout the New York-New Jersey-Connecticut region, CWA technicians at Verizon, AT&T and Cablevision are working 12-hour days, seven days a week to help restore service. In Connecticut, AT&T crews were dispatched with disaster repair equipment as Hurricane Sandy neared, so that workers would be able to respond quickly. And members of CWA Local 1298 have since been working to repair downed wires and poles.

CWA members who work at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey are staffing everything, from helping to get airports opened today, to assessing damage to tracks, stations and equipment and helping to get a city running again where millions of residents depend on public transportation.

Through it all, TNG-CWA reporters and photographers and NABET-CWA cameramen have been on the scene, updating the country on the latest weather conditions, rescue efforts and closures. They've put out newspapers without power and braved the heavy winds and rain to get the story. AP executive editor Kathleen Carroll wrote to employees, "Hundreds of AP folks lost power and many will be without it for days to come. Yet you've put the story first and been enormously creative in finding ways to contribute."

This weekend, in New Jersey and other areas where members are unable to do labor walks or other canvassing, volunteers will be going to Americorps locations to lend a hand.

Is there a CWA brother or sister who you want to recognize for their work to keep us safe and informed during Hurricane Sandy? Let us know on Facebook or tweet using the hashtag #cwasandy. (See also How You Can Help.)