Lancman praises Con Edison, Local 3 for Irene storm cleanup

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State Assemblyman Rory Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows) presented a state proclamation Tuesday to electrical workers and Con Edison, thanking them for their efforts in removing downed trees and restoring power in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene.

Lancman, chairman of the Assembly Subcommittee on Workplace Safety, said Con Ed and members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 3 operate under “often dangerous conditions” and noted there were no serious injuries as they did their jobs following the hurricane.

“It’s the focus at Local 3 and other places ... who go out there and do some dangerous work,” the assemblyman said. “That result is not by accident or happenstance. It is a commitment to workplace safety.”

Jimmy Bua, business representative for Local 3, said the fact that nobody got hurt “is just a testament to the training that the IBEW does.”

George Reinhardt of Hawkeye Construction said the linemen, who inspected downed power lines to see if they were live, had a dangerous job.

“These people put their lives on hold for 16 hours a day to restore your power,” he said.

Lancman said there were 32,000 power outages in the borough — the most in the city — after Irene and that 95 percent of those without power had it restored within three days of the hurricane.

The assemblyman said 346 Con Ed crews were deployed in Queens along with 47 mutual aid crews, or workers who were brought in from other jurisdictions, and they repaired 442 primary or secondary power lines.

Richard Bagwell, director of employee and labor relations for Con Ed, said the storm “hammered our service territories.”

City Councilman James Gennaro (D-Fresh Meadows) also thanked the workers.

“This was an opportunity for the city to see Local 3 and what they’re made of,” he said.

Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at hkoplowitz@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4573.

Updated 7:09 pm, September 14, 2011
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