Dominion Energy employees are about to give Puerto Rican residents impacted by Hurricane Maria a much-needed utility: electricity.
Seventy-one crew members will be spending a month on the island to help restore power.
Employees from the Prince William County Police Department also traveled in Puerto Rico to assist with disaster relief efforts in November.
Dominion Energy is sending about 50 linemen and groundmen as well as designers and a leadership team, according to Dominion Energy Electric Distribution Senior Vice President Ed Baine.
“It’s a lot of tough work — lineman work in particular — setting new posts, threading wire,” Baine said in footage provided by Dominion Energy. “But this is definitely a rebuild effort on the island.”
Click here to watch the departure of the crew members.
After restoration workers were selected, they began prepping for the trip.
“We’ve been preparing for … going on three weeks now to make sure we packed everything we need, get the trucks ready,” Lineman Sean Feely said. “We’ve had meetings — this group — of what to expect when we’re down there and how to prepare our family.”
Engineer David Perez, who has family living in Puerto Rico, already has an idea of what awaits crew members. Perez visited the island three months after the hurricane hit. His in-laws still don’t have power.
“I was expecting something better, more improvement. But it’s not. There’s the highway over there, BR 22 – it’s like 64 here,” Perez said. “There’s a bridge over there that got four transmission polls leaning on that bridge, and if you go into it’s shoulder, you will hit those polls. So, that’s how bad it is.”