140 FPL staffers heading to Puerto Rico to lend a hand
More than 100 days have passed since Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, but the island is still trying to recover.
The latest numbers show only 55 percent of people on the island have power.
Nearly 300 people are still living in the shelters that are open there.
Their recovery is impacting our area with more than 300,000 evacuees now living in Florida.
As people continue fleeing the grief-stricken island, we have working Floridians who arriving in Puerto Rico.
“I’ve been waiting for this moment for the longest,” said Carlos Romero.
Showing support for the Puerto Rican people, Florida Power and Light linemen Romero said he can’t wait to get to work.
“I can’t imagine being without power for over 100 days,” Romero said.
Romero is one of 140 FPL linemen and support staff members spending the next 30 days on the island.
“We just want to see the joy on their faces because it’s nothing like being in the dark. So we are there to turn on some lights,” said FPL linemen Victor Thompkins.
Their trip comes almost four months after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico.
“There are parts of the island where the center of the eye came through and it’s completely devastated, which is more of a rebuilding effort than a restoration effort,” said Manny Miranda.
Miranda, who is FPL’s Senior Vice President of Power Delivery, said a team has been working behind the scenes for the last month.
“They have been getting the work packages, the parking sites, the hotels, all the logistics all set up so when our crews arrive there they will be ready to get the lights on,” Miranda said.
FPL trucks and equipment arrived in Puerto Rico on barges not too long ago.
All that’s needed are these guys.
Romero’s big smile reveals his passion for the career that’s supported his family throughout the years.
“They are used to it. This is what I have been doing. It’s in my DNA. It’s in my blood. I’ve been doing this since I was 18 years old,” Romero said.
The crew is headed to a town called Bayamon, which is located just west of San Juan.