Posted: Nov 4, 2012 11:33 AM by Bernie Riggs (Missoula)
MISSOULA - Montana has sent some helping hands to the East Coast in the aftermath of "Superstorm" Sandy.
Roughly 100 firefighters left from the Northern Rockies Coordination Center on Saturday morning for Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Incident commander Bob Fry says their mission assignment from the Federal Emergency Management Agency is to open up secondary roads near the New Jersey shoreline, but they still don't know exactly where.
The four 20-person crews are from several tribal, state, and federal agencies in Montana and Idaho, heavily staffed with certified sawyers who will work with power companies to open up roads.
Fry says the biggest issue for his management team is finding safe facilities for the crews, because a nor'easter storm is forecast to hit the East Coast on Tuesday.
"It's a real experienced bunch so it'll make life pretty good for us as long as we can take care of them and just get 'em out and get their mission straight so that they can go out and do their work," Fry explained.
This isn't the first time firefighting crews from Montana have helped elsewhere in the nation after a major storm; crews were called in to help after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.