Local APS crews travel to Puerto Rico to assist with power restoration

APS trucks and equipment arrive in Lake Charles, La. (submitted photo)

APS is sending 50 line workers and support staff to Puerto Rico this month to assist with ongoing power restoration efforts on the island.

Hundreds of thousands of customers remain without electricity after powerful hurricanes hit the island in September, according to a press release. Three employees from APS’s Paradise Valley office will be a part of the efforts.

The crews going from APS will be part of a nationwide mutual assistance effort, sending nearly 1,500 electric workers to bolster restoration efforts on the island. Ahead of crews’ arrival in early January, APS is transporting vehicles and equipment via barges from the Port of Lake Charles, La.

Crews and support staff making the 3,000-mile journey to Puerto Rico represent a diverse swath of APS’s territory with employees coming from Yuma, Douglas, Cottonwood, Surprise, Buckeye, Goodyear, Paradise Valley and Phoenix.

These crews will join the nearly 5,500 restoration workers already on the island who are assisting the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, the press release stated.

PREPA, along with FEMA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, has been running an emergency command center on the island since early December. APS has committed crews to the island through mid-March.

Providing mutual assistance is not new to APS. In 2012, APS sent crews to help with restoration efforts in New York after Superstorm Sandy, and early last year to assist with efforts in Northern California after major storms caused flooding and toppled power lines.

“APS did not hesitate to answer the call for help,” Jacob Tetlow, APS’s VP of transmission and distribution operations said in a prepared statement.

“Our team is working to support the people of Puerto Rico because it is the right thing to do. APS is proud to be a part of this effort, and we look forward to working hand-in-hand with energy companies from around the country to help restore power to the citizens of Puerto Rico.”

APS serves about 2.7 million people in 11 of Arizona’s 15 counties, and is the Southwest’s foremost producer of clean safe and reliable electricity.

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