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Business & Economics

Long Hours, But Power Crews Get Rewards in Puerto Rico


The hours and long, the work is hard, but Wisconsin utility crews, including some from north central Wisconsin, have been thanked generously by residents in Puerto Rico.

Nearly three weeks after their arrival in Puerto Rico, more than 60 field employees from Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) and We Energies continue to work diligently to restore power in in areas that remain damaged by Hurricane Maria.

WPS spokesperson Matt Cullen says while substantial portions of the island remain without power, crews have been making progress... 

"...the additional of nearly 1,500 power industry workers last month in January has increased the number of customers who have regained power to more than 1 million since Hurricane Maria made landfall in September...."

Cullen says the crews have been working 12 or more hours each day. But Cullen says local residents are appreciative of their efforts... 

"..they continue to be in awe of the out pouring of support they've received from residents in Puerto Rico. Residents have cheered, they've given crews hand-written notes and even become emotional when service has been restored in their areas...."

Cullen reports Puerto Rico’s terrain has made repairs challenging. Recently crews needed four days to replace two miles of downed wire in a mountainous area. In San Juan, some utility poles and wires have been inaccessible from the road, forcing crews to come up with new repair strategies.

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