TULSA – Continued efforts from Oklahoma in helping Puerto Ricans find their way out of the dark; PSO Oklahoma crew sent to devastated island.
Twelve PSO employees departed from Tulsa early Saturday for Puerto Rico to help restore power to the island that was ravaged by Hurricane Maria in September.
The Public Service of Oklahoma workers are part of a group of nearly 70 frontline employees from the power company and its sister companies across the AEP system that are joining in the massive power restoration effort there.
As of Dec. 30, more than 660,000 of the 3.6 million people on the island still were without power.
The PSO employees traveled to Caguas, a remote, mountainous and heavily impacted region of Puerto Rico. Their trucks and equipment were shipped by barge and arrived there earlier this week. Two additional PSO employees arrived several days in advance to prepare for the arrival of the restoration team.
Cliff Elliott, distribution system supervisor in Atoka, is leading PSO’s team from Oklahoma. He says he expects they will work 12 to 15 hours a day, seven days a week for the next 30-45 days.
“We’re honored to have the opportunity to help bring power back to the people of Puerto Rico,” said Elliott. “We will miss our families and friends, but the conditions in Puerto Rico are dire, and they need power restored as quickly as possible. We have the expertise to do that, and we are happy to be able to help.”
Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico Sept. 20, leaving 3.6 million people without power. More than four months later, many homes and businesses are still without electrical service.
The American Public Power Association, the Edison Electric Institute, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, and their member companies have been working together to support the mission of restoring power for the citizens of Puerto Rico, following a request by the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA). AEP and its subsidiaries are among several U.S. mainland energy companies providing resources and workers to PREPA.
PSO, a unit of American Electric Power is an electric utility company serving more than 545,000 customers in eastern and southwestern Oklahoma. Based in Tulsa, PSO has approximately 3,800 megawatts of generating capacity and is a significant provider of wind energy in the state. News releases and other information about PSO can be found at www.PSOklahoma.com.
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