ATLANTA - Georgia Power's Operational Storm Center in Atlanta is helping coordinate thousands of repair crews as they converge on the Northeast disaster area from as far as California and Hawaii, in addition to coordinating its own crews in hurricane
"We're working with a fuel shortage, hotel shortage, food shortage, all of these things are part of what we have to deal with," said Georgia Power Distribution Manager Aaron Strickland.
Strickland manages the Storm Center and is on conference calls with other utilities once or twice a day to coordinate their efforts.
Hundreds of thousands of people are still without power across New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland.
"Those vaults are underwater," said Strickland.
Georgia Power itself has over a thousand resources on the ground, both employees and independent contractors.
Even with all the repair efforts, Strickland can't haz
ard a guess as to when everything will come back online.
"I haven't received a time frame as far as what they're estimating," said Strickland.
The Georgia National Guard unit based out of Cobb County is also helping supply some relief to superstorm Sandy's front lines.
Channel 2's Mark Winne traveled with the guardsmen to Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. who are preparing to move out and waiting for the go sign to start helping with the Sandy relief effort.
"How anxious are you to get up in the air?" Winne asked First Lt. James Carver with the Georgia National Guard.
"Very anxious. We're all actually excited here," Carver said. "You know we wanna go and help all the people that need help in this local area."
Two Georgia National Guard Ch-47 Chinook helicopters landed in New Jersey Wednesday evening. Winne and Channel 2 photographer Erin Frederickson were aboard with the Georgia crews.
A pilot told Winne the team is on standby if needed to deliver a search
-and -rescue team of up to 20 people.
"We're currently configured for 26 people," First Sgt. Jeff Earhart said.
Air crew members told Winne the Chinook helicopter also has a capacity to haul cargo matched by few choppers, on the inside and the outside of the helicopter.
"One of the ways we carry cargo is external and we have a triple
Hutson told Winne they are anxious to get up in the air and help the victims of Sandy.