More Xcel Energy Crews heading to Puerto Rico
In a news release Monday, it was announced that Xcel Energy is sending more than 70 employees to Puerto Rico to help with the ongoing power restoration efforts on the island. More than 68 percent of customers have had their power restored but hundreds of thousands remain without power more than four months after Hurricane Maria made landfall.
Xcel Energy workers departed on flights Monday morning and afternoon from Minneapolis, Denver, and Lubbock, and Amarillo, Texas. The company is sending about 54 line workers from the Upper Midwest, Colorado, Texas and New Mexico, along with additional safety and support staff after receiving the call to help last month. Xcel Energy trucks left for Puerto Rico earlier this month, were loaded onto a barge at the port of Lake Charles, Louisiana and arrived in Puerto Rico on Thursday, Jan. 18.
Also in the release they said that Xcel Energy crews are expected to work in Caguas, a mountainous and remote region in the southeast area of the island. This is where the storm came inland and the damage is significant. The crews will work with incident management teams that have partnered with the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) on restoration efforts.
PREPA is working with members of the Edison Electric Institute (EEI), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on damage assessment and a coordinated restoration plan. More than 20 electric companies, including Xcel Energy, are part of a coordinated, nationwide mutual assistance response that’s bringing nearly 1,500 additional workers to Puerto Rico. With these new workers more than 5,500 people will be part of the restoration efforts.