COLUMBUS (WCMH) – It’s been four months since Hurricane Maria wreaked havoc in Puerto Rico, and more AEP workers from central Ohio are headed to the island territory to help.
AEP Ohio is sending 14 line workers to Puerto Rico on Saturday to assist with power restoration efforts. The team will join four storm restoration experts with AEP Ohio, who have been on the ground since early January. Line workers from AEP Ohio’s sister companies will also join the mission.
Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico in late September, killing at least 64 people. Half of the island is still without power.
“This is more than a power restoration mission; it’s a humanitarian mission,” said AEP Ohio emergency preparedness manager Dave Callahan. “We’re honored to lend our expertise to help bring power back to the people of Puerto Rico.”
The bulk of the crew’s work will be in Caguas, a remote mountainous area hit hard by Hurricane Maria. The line workers will work 12 to 16-hour shifts, seven days a week to install and repair equipment damaged by the storm. AEP also sent bucket trucks and other equipment to the island by barge. The equipment is scheduled to arrive just ahead of the crews.
“The conditions in Puerto Rico are dire,” Callahan said. “Any sacrifices our employees are making are small in comparison to the conditions that the people of Puerto Rico have been living in for the last several months.”