Northeast utility workers depend on Louisville call center - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Northeast utility workers depend on Louisville call center for disaster help

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB)---Anytime there is a broken pole, a water main break, or gas repair in the New England area, utility workers must first put in a call to Louisville, Kentucky.

Employees with Asplundh One Call are already busy helping with the major winter storm hitting the Northeast.

"Everyone's always shocked to know the New England disaster recovery for utility companies is right here in Louisville, Kentucky," says Eva Crawford, the Center Manager.

They manage the New England states, so anytime there's a disaster utility workers depend on them.

"It's basically the call before you dig, Dig Safe, that you hear about a lot- that you have to call before you dig underground," says Eva Crawford.

They use a mapping system and notify the gas, water, electric, cable and telephone companies that are in the area where utility crews want to dig.

They're anticipating a busy weekend with the current storm, especially once the wind and snowfall stops.

Since midnight alone, they've already taken in hundreds of calls from utility crews in the Northeast. On Sunday they expect all of their employees to be working, answering even more calls.

The call center is set up this way so other people can handle the chaos, instead of people who may be impacted themselves.

Sometimes, the Louisville employees even forget they aren't actually dealing with the disaster themselves.  

"We were going to go get lunch and I was almost afraid to send one of my employees out in the bad weather, and then I realized I'm here in Louisville. I'm not even in it," says Eva Crawford.  

In October, they say they worked non-stop to help with Superstorm Sandy.

"Hectic. Chaos. Mass chaos," says Eva Crawford.

"There's times when I was here for almost an 18 hour shift," says Anthony Willemain, one of the Asplundh Call employees.

Now, it's a winter storm that they anticipate will need all hands on deck.

"Right now it's the calm before the storm, and I'm just waiting for this phone to start ringing off the hook," says Anthony Willemain.

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