VIRGINIA

Utilities rely on out-of-state workers after storm

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Four days after the storm and many parts of Northern Virginia remain a mess.

Low hanging power lines and downed trees remain in the same place they landed when the winds stopped whipping Friday.

Residents without power are now fueled by anger.

Javier Romero's apartment building has been in the dark since the storm.

"I'm from Spain. This is the USA. This shouldn't be like this," Romero said.

A large generator behind the building powers the only thing working - a single elevator.

Thanks in part to the help from hundred of crews from other states and Canada, Dominion Virginia Power made progress Tuesday, restoring power to thousands.

Utilities routinely rely on a network of out-of-state workers to pitch in during major outages. Of the 5,400 workers restoring power to Dominion customers in Virginia, 1,800 were from out of state. Baltimore Gas & Electric, which serves central Maryland, had 1,300 out-of-state workers supplementing its own 2,000 crew members, and Pepco, which serves Washington and suburban Maryland, had 700 out-of-state workers among its 3,000 field personnel. All three utilities brought in workers from Canada.

Arlington resident Abdullah Said exclaimed, "Thank God! That's all I can say."

Without the assistance from other utilities, restoring power to everyone "would take weeks and weeks, rather than just days and days," said Ed Orenduff, 64, a retired Dominion employee who was called in on a contract basis to coordinate the out-of-state crews.

But, there's still a lot of work to be done.

Richard Urban is trying to keep a good attitude while his Arlington home remains powerless.

"Well, we' re getting into the swing of it now. We could probably go another week or two," Urban said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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