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Alliant Energy crews heading to East Coast to assist in storm restoration

Joey Welton, Alliant Line Mechanic, loaded up a truck to head out from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Sunday, October 28, 2012

More than 100 Alliant Energy employees responding to Hurricane Sandy –

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Oct. 29, 2012 — Alliant Energy has sent more than 100 employees to help people on the East Coast in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Crews left Iowa and Wisconsin on Sunday morning and are headed to Lake Katrine, NY. This effort is in response to a mutual assistance call from all East Coast utilities, and Alliant Energy will be initially helping customers of Central Hudson Gas and Electric. This represents Alliant Energy’s largest mutual aid response ever.

Of the approximately 110 employees, about 80 are from Interstate Power and Light Company’s service territory in Iowa and about 30 are from Wisconsin Power and Light Company. Alliant Energy also released many of its line construction and tree-trimming contractors, allowing them to travel to the East Coast and aid in the restoration efforts.

“We understand the effects severe weather can have on a community, that’s why we are sending help to the East Coast. In part, we are paying back the industry for the help we received during the 2007 ice storm and the 2008 floods,” said Vern Gebhart, Vice President – Energy Delivery Operations.

East Coast utilities have requested several thousand line mechanics and tree clearance crews from across the country. Alliant Energy crews from 19 communities in Iowa and eight communities in Wisconsin are responding to the expected damage. Crews packed for a trip that could last as long as two weeks, depending on the severity of the damage.

“While we don’t get hurricanes in the Midwest, we do see damage from tornadoes and from flooding, so our crews are well versed in restoring electricity safely and quickly in the face of disaster,” said Gebhart.

Alliant Energy crews are staging in Scranton, PA on Monday night, allowing them to stay out of the worst of the storm and be able to respond swiftly once the storm weakens.

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