The first wave of Xcel Energy workers from Texas and New Mexico returned today from relief work in New York. The crews were sent to assist power crews in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

A second wave will return with service trucks and equipment from New York later in the week.The second group was released today by the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), who this morning reported that 98 percent of customers have power restored.

About 51,000 customers in the area still are without power, but a large number of those will need to have their property repaired and inspected before LIPA can restore service.

We’re very proud of the employees from our area who sacrificed their time away from families and daily routines to help their fellow Americans,” said Gary Lakey, Xcel Energy director of distribution operations in Texas and New Mexico.

They have worked safely and have represented the values of their home communities and of this company in an exemplary fashion. They will never forget these experiences, and the people they helped will never forget them. The good people of Long Island now know what we’ve known for years – Xcel Energy employees are second to none.”