The state of New York will be sending an additional 350 utility personnel and 220 vehicles from public and private electric companies in New York State to help Puerto Rico restore power, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and Gov, Ricardo Rosselló announced.
The brigades and equipment will be mobilizing to Puerto Rico over the weekend, according to New York’s Con Edison.
The additional help follows this week’s request for assistance from the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority. Most of Puerto Rico has been in the dark since the first week of September, when Hurricane Irma struck.
“Some public power utilities already are supporting power restoration, and we will now complement the resources on the island as we continue to coordinate with PREPA, our government partners, and their contractors,” said American Public Power Association President Sue Kelly.
“New York Power Authority sent technical experts to Puerto Rico soon after María struck and has sent additional personnel and advisors. NYPA has been integral in getting the right resources for restoration on the ground and will now be sending 20 utility personnel as part of the New York State contingent,” Kelly said.
NYPA previously had committed to sending 28 engineers and 15 damage assessment experts.
“The request for assistance from PREPA now allows EEI member companies and our industry on the mainland to fully support the critical power restoration efforts underway in Puerto Rico,” said Edison Electric Institute President Tom Kuhn.
“For example, as part of the first wave of this deployment, 70 vehicles, including 38 bucket trucks and diggers from Con Edison of New York and Orange and Rockland Utilities, will be loaded onto a cargo ship near Camden, NJ, that will depart for the island this weekend,” he said.
“Nearly 120 overhead power line workers, technical specialists, and personnel from both of these companies will be flown separately to Puerto Rico next week and will be there to meet the equipment and vehicles as they arrive in Puerto Rico,” he added.
“This still will be a very challenging and complicated restoration effort, but we are committed to supporting the ongoing power restoration process. Strong coordination remains critical,” said Kelly.
“While yesterday was effectively day one for this new phase in the restoration effort, we know that our fellow citizens in Puerto Rico have been without power for more than a month,” said the EEI’s Kuhn.
“We are committed to resolving problems quickly, and we already are having solutions-oriented conversations, improving supply chain logistics, and dispatching people and equipment to Puerto Rico,” Kuhn said.
Most of Puerto Rico has been without power since Hurricane Irma hit on Sept. 7, and after Hurricane María ravaged the island on Sept. 20, PREPA’s power grid was virtually demolished islandwide.