PNM crews return home from Northeast

Posted at: 11/16/2012 5:06 PM
Updated at: 11/16/2012 7:06 PM
By: Joseph Lynch, KOB Eyewitness News 4

It was about three weeks ago when PNM sent a team of 40 crew members off to the East Coast. Their job was to help get the power back on for those effected by Superstorm Sandy.

Their cross country caravan returned home to their families. The crew were welcomed home with hugs, kisses and an escort from New Mexico's finest.

The 4,000 plus mile journey was brought on by Superstorm sandy.

The devastating offering to the nation's Northeast had crews and loved ones like Candice Flores wondering just what they were heading into.

"Scared the heck out of mem but I know that they needed him more than we did here. They needed the help so we were glad to share him for awhile," she said. 

Her husband James Flores was glad to get power back on for those who were without.

"It's a good feeling when you see the people come outside and give you thumbs up and thank you for being out of power for 15- you know. 12 days- 13,14 days some people were still out of power over there," he said.

Long days, cold temperatures, and lots of downed trees and power lines. As if all of that weren't enough, a nor'easter thrown in.

Crew members said they would have stayed even longer if they were needed.

Flores missed New Mexico and his family, but is proud of his PNM crew.

"America is a good country," he said. "We're blessed to be here. Helping out our neighbors- even if they are on the east coast. It was quite a drive. A 3 or 4 day drive. But it was well worth it. A good experience for all of us and I would do it again."

Fellow crew member Cale Chappelle said the days flew by with so much work to be done.

"We were only gone 3 weeks," he said. "But we came back with a new sense of pride. A sense of pride in our trade and just in America. It's real good to see Americans helping each other out in a time of crisis like that."