Xcel helps get power back to 2,000 people in Puerto Rico

Nearly 2,000 Puerto Rican customers have had their electricity restored thanks to Xcel Energy crews — including 16 from Texas and New Mexico — who have been on the island since Jan. 29.

 

The first group of employees will return Feb. 19 and another group will leave the same day for another 21-day deployment, said Xcel spokesman Wes Reeves.

Xcel Energy spent a few days working to restore power to Escuela Rexford Guy Tugwell, a Montessori school located in Cayey. Crews celebrated with students and teachers after restoring power on Feb. 8, allowing students to have full school days for the first time since Hurricane Maria hit the island.

More than 1 million Puerto Rican customers, or 75 percent of the island, have had their power restored. But hundreds of thousands remain without power more than four months after Hurricane Maria caused tremendous damage to the island’s homes, businesses, infrastructure and electrical grid.

Xcel Energy crews are working in Caguas, a mountainous and remote region in the southeast area of the island where the storm came inland and damage is significant.

Most of that work, Reeves said last week, has involved setting poles and rehanging cable that has been in disrepair since the September hurricane.

The crews are with incident management teams that have partnered with Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, or PREPA. PREPA is working with the Edison Electric Institute, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on damage assessment and a coordinated restoration plan.

Xcel Energy is one of more than 20 electrical companies working to restore power to Puerto Rico.

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