Q: I’ve heard stories about utility crews from the South being refused work in New York and New Jersey hit by Hurricane Sandy because the crews were not union. Is this true? What really happened?
—Robert Behan, Roswell
A: There were initial reports of non-union utility crews from Alabama being turned away by New Jersey, but a spokesman with Jersey Central Power & Light denied this, telling News 12 New Jersey: “We have not turned away any help. Absolutely not.” Crews from California, Idaho, Kentucky, Florida, Michigan and North Carolina were working in New Jersey just days after Hurricane Sandy. Crews from Alabama went to New Jersey to offer assistance but were sent to Long Island, according to nj.com and al.com, websites for newspaper groups in New Jersey and Alabama. One crew returned home over confusion about paperwork and another crew went to Denton, Md.
Q: What made weather forecasters so certain that Hurricane Sandy would make a left turn rather than, as typically happens, curve northeastward? And what effect does record low pressure, as with Sandy, have on the height of the water below it?
—Dan Cowles, Cumming
A: Upper-level winds guide hurricanes, and with Sandy they were pulling the storm inland, Glenn Burns, chief meteorologist for Channel 2 Action News, told Q&A on the News in an email. Also, the Bermuda High, which is normally in the western Atlantic, was moving east to become the Azores High for the winter, which helped move Hurricane Sandy to the west. The low pressure could have raised the water level “an inch or two,” Burns said.
Andy Johnston wrote this column. Do you have a question about the news? We’ll try to get the answer. Call 404-222-2002 or email firstname.lastname@example.org (include name, phone and city).