MESQUITE  (CBSDFW.COM) – Though now downgraded from its hurricane status, Isaac has still knocked out power to about half of Louisiana, some 900,000 homes.

Thursday, workers from Oncor Electricity Utility packed up to help out.

“We’re going prepared to do whatever we need to do,” Oncor spokesman Kris Spears told CBS 11 News.

Some 35 Oncor workers in a dozen or more trucks crowded into the company’s Mesquite Service Center just before noon. Packed for a week on the road, they are optimistic they will get the job done sooner.

“We might be setting poles,” said Spears, “we might be repairing lines and downed wires that may be live. So we really want to get as many people back on as safely and as quickly as we can.”

It is part of a helping hand effort. Many have been to the Gulf Coast for other hurricanes, others to Virginia just this summer to help with power outages there. Just as utility workers from other states came to Texas during the big icy freeze of the Super Bowl week in Arlington when ice caused widespread power outages.

Along with the crews leaving Mesquite, another seventy or so workers left from locations in Arlington, the Mid-Cities, and the Texoma region, according to Oncor.

Crews delayed their starts to be sure that erratic Isaac didn’t mean they’d be needed closer to home.

“We wanted to give ourselves some buffer time so we could respond to East Texas if our help was needed there,” Spears told us.   But the storm tracked north.

Last word is the crews arrived in the Shreveport area about 5 p.m. Thursday and were headed to Monroe, Louisiana, to help out with the Entergy power company’s needs there.

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