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West Coast feels effects of superstorm Sandy

City News Service | 10/31/2012, 5 p.m.

Airlines Wednesday cancelled at least 27 flights between Los Angeles International Airport and the East Coast, where airports are coping with the aftermath of superstorm Sandy, LAX officials said.

On Tuesday, the 10 airlines at LAX reported 182 cancellations--92 departures and 90 arrivals--to and from cities such as Boston, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Chicago, Cleveland and Washington D.C., said Nancy Suey Castles of LAX.

About 500 flights in or out of LAX were cancelled through Tuesday, and nearly 16,000 flights were cancelled nationwide. Passengers can visit the website www.lawa.org to check the status of their flights.

With some 8 million people along the East Coast still without power in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the City Council passed an emergency motion allowing the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to send crews to help with utility restoration.

The motion by City Councilman Tom LaBonge authorizes the LADWP to make available workers with overhead and underground utility expertise who can help restore electricity and provide damage assessment.

"Our neighbors to the East are experiencing a horrific natural disaster, and power is the key to get people back in their homes and their lives right," said LaBonge, adding that he expected the federal government to reimburse the city for any costs incurred by sending the city's utility workers.

LADWP General Manager Ron Nichols supported the motion.

"There's a history of mutual assistance between utilities, and we're looking at the prospect of making available our help," Nichols said.

A fleet of more than 70 Southern California Edison (SCE) utility trucks is being prepared for transport to the East Coast to help restore power in areas devastated by Sandy. Edison spokesman David Song says the crews were going to drive the trucks cross-country, but with the urgent need for assistance, the U.S. Air Force will instead use six C-5 and eight C-17 aircraft to transport the vehicles from March Air Reserve Base in Riverside County.