EEI > Mutual Assistance

​March 20, 2018

Today marks the six-month anniversary of the day Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico. On September 20, this devastating Category 4 hurricane swept over the island, impacting all critical infrastructure. It is estimated that at least 80 percent of the energy grid was damaged by the storm.

Earlier this week, the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) announced that power has been restored to 93 percent of all customers across the island who can receive electricity—or approximately 1.37 million out of 1.47 million customers. This is a significant milestone that was reached by PREPA and its restoration partners, including FEMA, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and its contractors, and industry mutual assistance crews. 

While significant progress has been made to restore power, nobody deserves to be without electricity for this long. EEI and our member companies remain committed to helping our fellow citizens and to restoring power to the people of Puerto Rico.

The damage caused by Hurricane Maria is unlike anything we have ever seen on the mainland United States, and this power restoration mission is more difficult than other restoration efforts. Nearly 60 investor-owned electric companies and public power utilities have committed crews, equipment, and/or materials to the emergency power restoration mission. Overall, approximately 3,000 industry lineworkers and support personnel have been involved in the restoration effort on the island.

As of this writing, some mutual assistance crews have finished their mission and have returned to the mainland, while others continue to work to restore power. About 900 mutual assistance workers remain on the island. 

In any restoration effort (in Puerto Rico or on the mainland) a point is reached where a substantial amount of work is completed and the amount and type of workers needed to complete the job are reassessed. In many cases, more people simply does not mean that work gets completed faster. This is especially true in Puerto Rico’s mountainous regions with their narrow roads, where only so many trucks and so many workers can fit into one space at a time. The restoration plan ensures that crews now will converge into the hardest-hit areas and that the right number of crews/workers remain actively engaged and continue to work safely and as quickly as possible. As is the case with all restorations, the final customers are the most difficult and time-consuming to restore; in this case, the terrain on the island is a recurring challenge.

A restoration of this complexity and magnitude demands a response to match it. The partnership among our industry, PREPA, and the government has been critical. This is truly one team with one mission, and we are unified in our effort.

See crews working to restore power to the people of Puerto Rico in this Fox News report. ​For the latest updates, be sure to follow EEI on social media and use #PoweringPR​.
March 12
DTE Energy Workers Continue Relief Aid in Puerto Rico
March 9
FPL - A Wave of Lineworkers Head to Puerto Rico
March 9
FPL - Message From Crew Members
March 1
Arizona Public Service Employees Return From Helping in Puerto Rico
February 28
PPL Crews Return From Mission to Restore Power in Hurricane-Ravaged Puerto Rico
February 28
Second Group of LG&E, KU Employees Travel to Puerto Rico
February 28
Local Xcel Workers Return Home After Helping Restore Power in Puerto Rico
February 27
EEI Thanks President Trump for Extending Critical Federal Funding to Support Power Restoration Efforts in Puerto Rico
January 29
Delmarva Power Crews Answer Call to Assist in Puerto Rico Recovery
Load More
March 23
APS - A home away from home in Puerto Rico
March 20
Fox News: DTE Crews Working to Restore Power in Puerto Rico.
March 19
ComEd - An Emotional Journey for Both the Citizens and Our Crews
March 15
Puerto Rico Restoration - Meet Noel Colon
March 6
Ameren Corporation with Purina Dog Chow
February 28
Thanks for Alabama Power Crews Working in Puerto Rico
Load More
Social Media Hub