DENVER – Months after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, hundreds of thousands of people there are still without power and Xcel Energy is sending some of its utility workers to help get the lights back on.
The Minneapolis-based company is sending 65 line workers and other staff from the Midwest, Colorado, Texas and New Mexico to the island territory.
Xcel Energy trucks were loaded onto barges in Lake Charles, Louisiana earlier this month and are on their way there now. The workers will fly to Puerto Rico at the end of January.
The Xcel Energy crews will work with local crews and other agencies from the United States in the remote, mountainous Caguas region, which was hit especially hard by the storm.
“We want to assist the people of Puerto Rico and we are honored to be part of this restoration effort,” said Kent Larson, executive vice president and group president of operations. “This is a massive undertaking under difficult circumstances, but our crews are ready to bring power back on safely -- it’s what we would do for our own customers and we want to deliver that same quality of service to our fellow citizens in Puerto Rico.”
The Xcel Energy workers will bring the total number of personnel working on restoration efforts to more than 5,500, the utility said.