By Luciano VeraJanuary 24, 2018
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- The United States Army Corps of Engineers Task Force Power Restoration, in a joint effort with the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, Federal Emergency Management Agency and industry partners, have successfully restored power to over one million customers in the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
"Our joint teams have been working hard for months and this a significant milestone. We now have a large amount of steady materials arriving every week, which will aid in our efforts," said Task Force Power Restoration Commander Col. John Lloyd. "USACE is committed to the restoration of power for the people of Puerto Rico and we will continue to press forward until the mission is complete."
Approximately 4,000 personnel are working to restore power to the more than 450,000 customers who remain without power.
Restoration workers and support staff from electric companies throughout the nation continue to arrive, helping to accelerate progress. Approximately 750 are already on the island and 300 plus more are expected to arrive over the next few weeks, along with hundreds more bucket trucks and equipment to help speed up the restoration.
In addition 1,000 more contractor line personnel will arrive on the island by Feb. 1 as USACE increases its capacity to provide the necessary assistance to accelerate restoration. Together, these resources will bring the restoration workforce to nearly 5,500.
Also last week, 700 transformers essential to restoration arrived and are being distributed throughout the island to complete emergency repairs. More material is scheduled to arrive in the coming days, including an additional 300 transformers that are being airlifted from electric companies across the United States and about 6,000 transformers secured through USACE that will begin to arrive through weekly deliveries. The increased flow of materials into the island will help continue to advance the restoration.
PREPA has been coordinating with state and federal agencies, including USACE and FEMA, and with the electric power industry and electric company contractors to execute an aggressive plan to advance the restoration.