Tired Clean-up Crews Won't Quit Until Newburgh is Back to Normal

Reporter: Ben Jackey

New Media Producer: Kerry Corum

Our Storm Team has put in long hours over the past few days, and so have emergency, municipal and utility crews - and the job is far from over.

You wouldn't know by looking at her, but INDOT crew leader Denise Koutz has been on the go for three straight days. "I don't get really tired. I just always have energy. We worked yesterday for 13 hours. We're at least going to work until dark."

She's just a small part of the team trying to get Newburgh back to normal. From dispatchers to line workers, Vectren employees have needed a little extra kick over the last week, to get service restored.

Vectren Spokesperson Chase Kelley tells us, "As of Sunday evening, we had over 350 Vectren employees and contract workers who put in about 11,000 man-hours."

Then there's the eight-person Newburgh police department who's stretched so thin, they can't tend to regular business.

Newburgh Police Chief Dennis Patton says, "Vehicle checks, or people wanting to come in and talk to a police officer or file a complaint, we have to put that on the back burner."

But there are some jobs, not weather related, that must be done. The volunteer fire department answers a gas leak run with a very fatigued and, by the way, unpaid staff.

Newburgh Fire Chief Greg Lueken explains, "It's taxing on our guys. They go work all day and come home and volunteer with this. So we've been kind of rotating guys in and out."

And the work is far from over. It could be another two days before all roads are cleared and power is restored, but these workers will fight through fatigue, to restore their community.

"We want to help just like anyone else would help a neighbor," adds Patton.

Lueken agrees, "They're committed to their community, they want to help anyway they can."

Newburgh town council members say federal dollars should take care of some of the overtime costs. By the way, Vectren says it hopes to have power restored to all of Newburgh by Thursday.