And put the lines up with what? Ladders tied together leaned up against pickup trucks? This isn't replacing a blown breaker in a house. THis is downed powerlines and powerline poles. It takes specialized trucks - and with the media reporting 100,000 lines down, that's a lot of trucks. Bucket lift trucks and pole lift trucks. Without those, there could be 1,000,000 unemployed local electricians and it would do no good to hire them. And once done, those extra trucks aren't going to be needed anymore.
In short, it can't be done without an influx of outside heavy equipment - and NO company is going to turn over their equipment to others without their employees there to insure it used correctly and returned. Those are not cheap trucks. When they turned away the volunteers, they also turned away their heavy equipment and specialized trucks needed to get the job done.
Finally, volunteers are FREE. So the lines would go back up MUCH FASTER and FOR FREE. To hire temporary workers and pay for trucks needed all of a few weeks is just taking money from taxpayers just to take it and give it to union workers - when otherwise no tax money used. Why not just have the city and state give unemployed people money? That's be more efficient than have people without electricity for weeks waiting for under equiped union workers getting around to their neighborhood.
And, of course, then after that PURE WASTE SPENDING FOR THE UNION'S SAKE, the state and cities are going to ask for Federal assistance - meaning they want ME to pay for THEIR union-job protection even in life-death crisis situations.
Should they also turn down volunteer out-of-state ambulances and doctors? Of course, right? Without electricity, people die. But waiting for locals to get around to it for weeks is more important?
If it all is to "remain local," then no one who isn't local shouldn't give a damn either. If their own decisions causes them to suffer, then they suffer at their own choice.