Nebraska pays back the favor

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Retiring Sen. Ben Nelson adopted an appropriate model when he was governor, "One Nebraska." While many of our eastern Nebraska brethren think they've done their part when they drive "out west" to the state fair in its new home in Grand Island, there are times when we truly are "One Nebraska."

One, of course, is on game day, when we all cheer and moan with the ups and downs of the University of Nebrask football team.

Another is when we experience tragedies like the death of high school students and personnel, or when we face the common adversary of bad weather.

But there's no reason the unity has to end at the state borders.

We were all New Yorkers following the September 11 attacks, and many of us are experiencing similar sentiments as we read and watch news accounts of the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

But it's not a one-way street.

Nebraska's ice storms back in 2006 and 2007 didn't affect as many people as Sandy, but help did come from far and wide when it came to restoring power after ice and wind took out many miles of power lines near Holdrege and elsewhere in south central Nebraska.

Now, we're paying back the favor.

Today, the Nebraska Public Power District sent 16 distribution line technicians help the Appalachian Power Co., a division of American Electric Power, restore power to more than 150,000 customers in West Virginia who were left in the dark by heavy snow and blizzard conditions associated with Hurricane Sandy.

NPPD line technicians from Scottsbluff, South Sioux City, Lexington, Ogallala, Norfolk, Sutherland, Shelton, Ainsworth, Humboldt, Gordon, Oakland, York, Atkinson and Pawnee City operations are expected to be in West Virginia at least through Nov. 7.

"This is just another way that NPPD proves its mottoe to be 'Always there when you need us,;'" said President and CEO Pat Pope. "Our crews are obviously dedicated to serving our Nebraska customers first, but when able, NPPD also wants to provide the same type of assistance we were provided when our customers were without power during the 2006-07 ice storms."

"One Nebraska" is a good motto and a good attitude to have. In challenging times like these, "One America" is even better.

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