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Hurricane María

Florida Power & Light joins industry experts to help light up PR

FPL previously provided Puerto Rico thousands of poles and coordinated the delivery of other equipment. (Credit: Kurt Rivers for FPL)

Florida Power & Light Company announced that a 10-person team of restoration experts traveled to Puerto Rico this past weekend to support ongoing restoration efforts across the Commonwealth.

FPL’s team joined a contingent of seven Incident Management Teams (IMTs), each comprised of professionals representing electric companies from across the U.S.

The teams were deployed in response to a formal request for mutual assistance by the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) and supported by Gov. Ricardo Rosselló.

“We’re pleased that the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and PREPA have accepted this additional help to return normalcy to our fellow American citizens of Puerto Rico who have been without electricity for so long,” said Eric Silagy, president of FPL.

“We recognize just how difficult it is to be without power after a major hurricane. That’s why even before we had completed restoring power to our more than 4.4 affected million customers in the wake of Hurricane Irma, we quickly identified a team of restoration professionals who were prepared to deploy to Puerto Rico to offer whatever help we could provide” he said.

“With so many of our own customers and employees having strong ties to Puerto Rico, we feel it is our responsibility to help get the lights back on for the hundreds of thousands who are still in the dark. We’re eager to have these teams in the field and look forward to making a difference,” Silagy said.

Nearly all of the island’s 3.5 million residents lost power due to Hurricane María in late September, with the majority remaining without electricity throughout the island.

The teams have been assigned to seven regions across the island in coordination with PREPA, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and electric company contractors who already are restoring power.

FPL’s team will support power restoration in the region of Bayamón, company executives confirmed.

FPL’s support of power restoration in Puerto Rico began immediately after the energy company completed its own restoration in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

Additionally, in the days immediately following Hurricane María, NextEra Energy, FPL’s parent company, donated $100,000 and matched the same amount from employee donations to help those affected by the storm. Many employees also held fundraisers and supply drives to assist those impacted across the island.

Operationally, FPL coordinated the delivery of thousands of poles and other equipment to Puerto Rico and accompanied Florida Gov. Rick Scott to the Commonwealth in November.

Since that time, FPL leadership has remained in Puerto Rico where it has been providing technical expertise and guidance to support the restoration effort.

“Aside from the fact that so many of our customers have family and other connections to Puerto Rico, so too is the case with the FPL family,” said Manny Miranda, senior vice president of Power Delivery for FPL. “The FPL team, alongside other industry colleagues, is ready to get about the work of helping to get the lights back on across the island.”

“We have assembled a group that represents some of the most experienced power restoration professionals in our industry,” Miranda said. “Just as we did during Hurricanes Matthew and Irma, we will lend our knowledge and expertise to help get the lights back on safely and as quickly as possible.”

FPL team members will remain on the island to support the restoration as long as their assistance is needed, the company confirmed.

It is anticipated that additional FPL field crews and equipment, upon request, will travel to Puerto Rico in the weeks ahead to assist with the ongoing restoration effort.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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