Columbia Linemen Return Home After Helping with Sandy Recovery

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COLUMBIA - A group of hometown heroes returned home to Columbia Wednesday evening.

Sixteen days ago, 12 Columbia Water & Light linemen left to help restore power in some cities affected by superstorm Sandy. Last week, another Columbia lineman joined the crew.

The group worked 16 hour days and stayed in hotels but lineman Andrew Smith said the warm reception they received from residents made the trip worthwhile.

"They'd say 'oh thank God, thank you, you're angels sent from heaven,' and they were just happy we were there," he said. "It means a lot and I'm glad I got to go and experience it. I would do it any day of the week."

Columbia Water & Light Communications and Marketing Supervisor Connie Kacprowicz said many residents personally contacted their Columbia headquarters to express their thanks.

"We got a lot of emails from people out east that were just so happy to see those red trucks coming down the street," she said.

The Missouri Public Utility Alliance in Columbia coordinated the assistance project through a mutual aid program to help utilities duting widespread outages.