Power workers and contractors set up camp at Dorney Park

Posted: 6:46 PM EDT Nov 01, 2012

Dozens of trucks and trailers are taking over the parking lots at Dorney Park in Allentown.  It's one of two PPL camps for hundreds of out-of-state workers.  They're assembling there to take on Sandy.

About 2,100 line men and 900 tree trimmers are in the Lehigh Valley working to get lights back on for tens of thousands of homes and businesses.

"We have pulled people in from more than 50 other companies, 10 other states," said PPL Spokesperson Michael Wood.

The power workers spend 16 hours out in the field.  The rest of the time, hundreds are staying in the parking lot at Dorney Park.  Trailers are set up in a camp and staging area.

"It can accommodate 200-500 utility workers from outside our area," explained Wood.  "House and feed them, provide showers, food, supplies, materials, their instructions for the day and guides to their work locations."

For the next few days the camp will be their base of operations.  There's heat in the bunks, and they can get a hot or cold meal.

PPL says the idea came from utility companies on the Gulf Coast that used similar camp models to house out-of-state workers during major hurricane clean-up.

"We try to bring to bring those practices here and now we're putting them into play for this storm," added Wood.  "Hopefully we'll keep getting better with every big event."

This is the first time PPL has set up a camp like this in the Lehigh Valley.