CenterPoint rolls out to restore power in La.

HOUSTON - Dozens of CenterPoint Energy linemen drove Thursday to the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Isaac.

About 700,000 people lost power late Tuesday and early Wednesday when the Isaac stormed ashore.

About 40 trucks with 60 linemen and 18 supporting crew members made up the team. Their first stop is Lafayette, La.

"With the high waters and the insects and all that type of stuff, it's staying safe," lineman Lee Bishop said. "Once we get all those barriers out of the way, we'll continue on with the restoring process."

"Normalcy is a big deal for us in our daily lives," lineman Ron Dugger said. "If we can get them back to normal, they're happy."

The linemen will leave their families for two to three weeks.

"I got two kids," Dugger said. "It's tough to be away and you miss your wife and all that, but you got to stay in the moment and try to help people. These people are displaced, too. Together, we're in the same boat, just trying to help each other out."

Crews originally expected to leave Wednesday, but those plans got pushed back.

"Due to the fact that the storm stalled, we want to make sure our employees aren't put in harm's way as they travel there," CenterPoint spokeswoman Alicia Dixon said. "When they get there they can begin restoring power immediately."

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