superstorm Sandy / Alabama Emergency Management Agency

A nine-member team from the Alabama Emergency Management Agency is helping in New York with the recovery effort from Superstorm Sandy.

State EMA Director Art Faulkner said EMA teams from all over the country helped Alabama after the killer tornadoes in April 2011, and Alabama is pleased to return the favor.

The Alabama group is working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency in the Joint Field Office in Queens. They are expected to return to Alabama on Nov. 27.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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An Alabama utility crew heading to New Jersey has returned home, claiming it had to affiliate with a union to help with the recovery effort after Superstorm Sandy. But union officials, a New Jersey utility company and the governor say they were are mistaken.

The general manager of Decatur Utilities, Ray Hardin, said a six-member crew left for Seaside Height, N.J. It got as far as a staging area in Virginia before returning home. Hardin said documents from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers implied the non-union workers had to agree to union affiliation.

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Huntsville Utilities is sending employees north to help with the superstorm Sandy recovery efforts.

The city-owned utility is talking with organizations that coordinate power restoration following major storms to determine where the local workers are needed most.

Utility spokesman Bill Yell says two three-person bucket crews and a three-person pole-setting crew will be heading out to help, most likely in the Washington, D.C., area.

As they drive north Wednesday, the crews will have to go around heavy snow in the North Carolina and Virginia mountains.