It will be the first time that power crews from Wisconsin Public Service and WE Energies will be going outside the continental United States to help restore power. Several Northwoods personnel are joining the effort.
WPS announced the deployment Wednesday.
Spokesperson Matt Cullen...
"....this is the first time WPS and WE Energies crews have been called upon to restore power outside the continental United States. Approximately 60 of our field employees from WEC Energy Group, the parent company, have been requested to assist with the ongoing power restoration efforts in Puerto Rico....."
Cullen says that several of the crew members have helped to restore power in hurricane-ravaged areas in the southern U.S., so there is some familiarity with the needs in Puerto Rico. He says it has a logistical challenge...
"....the schedule is for our employees to leave from early to mid-January, but the vehicles and equipment have already started to make their way down to Jacksonville, Florida where they will be shipped on barges to Puerto Rico so they will have their equipment just like back here in Wisconsin...."
Cullen says there are four field employees from the Rhinelander, Minocqua, Eagle River and Tomahawk areas that will be part of the restoration efforts in Puerto Rico. The total number of field employees from the Northwoods is seven. That number includes employees from the Wabeno, Marinette, Menominee, Mich., and Wausaukee areas as well.
The employee are expected to be in Puerto Rico about 4-6 weeks.