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Patricia Keenan, Newfoundland, N.J., Published November 21 2012

Letter: Minnesotans’ aid inspires pride

I was touched by The Forum article (Sunday, Nov. 18) on Brad Weninger’s experience restoring power in Long Island, N.Y.

My husband and I originate from Minnesota but now live in New Jersey with a future retirement home in Pennsylvania. The destruction from Hurricane Sandy was predicted as “The Perfect Storm,” with strong warnings of impending peril.

Having experienced the strength of Minnesota’s annual tornadoes, we thought we could handle what was coming.

Although we were without power for 14 days, the damage to our property was minute compared to the unfortunate others in New York and the Jersey shore.

I was comfortable in our Pennsylvania home when the storm hit and stayed there for one week. Going back to the scary New Jersey situation of long gas lines and cold days and nights didn’t seem too ideal. Nov. 6 (voting day) was looming over my conscience, so I filled my car with gas and headed east to New Jersey.

While anticipating my husband’s description of our downed trees and fence line, my eyes caught a rare sight. The slow lane on Interstate 78 had an unusual amount of utility trucks. As I approached the “caboose” of this caravan, I noticed they were First Energy (our electric company) trucks, and 90 percent of them were from Minnesota. The best word that described my feelings was “proud.” I waved at every one of the drivers. Some were driving by themselves, with partners and with pets. I received returned greetings, and I felt they knew that my appreciation was with my waves.

I don’t know what crew restored our area, but I am so grateful for all the men and women responsible for getting us back into shape. Massive restorations still have to be attended to, but our thanks go to the out-of-state utility volunteers. Yay, Minnesota!