SAN DIEGO, Nov. 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 40 San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) employees will head east on Thursday morning to assist New York's utility, Con Edison, with repairs to overhead power lines damaged by Tropical Storm Sandy. After the storm, news reports estimated more than seven million people were without power and that significant damage had been done to the region's electric distribution system. "We are proud to be a part of the power restoration effort by sending experienced and dedicated SDG&E employees to help Con Edison and their customers who were affected by Tropical Storm Sandy," said Mike Niggli, president and chief operating officer of SDG&E. "Our employees are pleased to have the opportunity to help even though it means long days and significant time away from their families. We hope that our efforts will assist those communities in getting back to normal as soon as possible." The crews will depart Thursday morning from the utility's Northeastern operations base in Escondido and will be helping Con Edison crews replace poles and restring wire in communities throughout New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania with Con Edison subsidiary Orange and Rockland Utilities. SDG&E is sending six five-man crews, two mechanics and another 10 various supervisors and coordinators from the utility's construction and operation centers throughout San Diego and Orange counties. The crews will stay an estimated 10 days or until they are no longer needed. In addition, approximately 20 pieces of equipment were shipped Tuesday to help SDG&E crews with their repairs. Niggli said the temporary loan of mutual assistance crews will not hamper SDG&E's ability to meet its customers' needs. SDG&E is a member of the Western Region Mutual Assistance Group through its participation with the California Utilities Emergency Association. The group's members and counterparts throughout the country often call on one another to help in restoration efforts after major events such as winter storms.