Another snowstorm smacked the East Coast last night, with strong winds that knocked out power to thousands who just got the lights back on after last week’s hit from Hurricane Sandy. More utility workers from Iowa are being dispatched to the region to help restore vital services.

Alliant Energy’s lead safety consultant Kent Sodawasser says they put in long hours, but get a boost from thankful locals. “We’re being stopped twice an hour, saying ‘We really appreciate you coming all the way out from Iowa,’ and it just keeps our motivation up,” Sodawasser says.

“It tells us we really are a tight country in the time of need and we help each other out. It’s just a good feeling.” Sodawasser says the 100-plus Alliant employees from Iowa who are already in New York state are getting re-enforcements, as a second group was dispatched to aid in restoring natural gas lines for cooking and heating.

“They’re coming out to help other parts of the hurricane-affected area restore gas services to towns,” he says. “Alliant Energy will have a presence for several more weeks in this part of the region.” Sodawasser says power poles are already stressed, so he hopes this new storm won’t undo all of the work already done to put folks back online.

After the so-called superstorm hit early last week, Des Moines-based MidAmerican Energy dispatched a group of about 30 employees and 250 contractors to New York state to assist with recovery efforts.