BALTIMORE (WJZ) — BGE crews are on their way to Puerto Rico to assist with recovery efforts in the wake of September’s devastating hurricane.
This will be BGE and their sister utility companies’ first trip together to Puerto Rico, which they began planning months ago.
Five months after Hurricane Maria, much of Puerto Rico is still struggling.
Exelon Corp. is sending 144 utility workers from six of their companies, including BGE.
“We are willing to go above and beyond to make sure everybody is taken care of in this world,” says Nicholas Weber, BGE overhead crew leader.
Since the island was devastated last year, power industry groups have coordinated crews to assist with the restoration efforts.
“They say 25 percent of Puerto Rico is still out and a lot of times with storms like this, the last 25 percent is the toughest,” says Nicholas’ father, BGE Service Operator William Weber. “They’re going to be working in terrains they are unfamiliar with.”
While William will not be on this mission, he’s proud to see his son join the team.
“To go help another territory with his fellow Exelon employees, it’s a big comittment and I’m very proud of that,” he adds.
These additional crews will bring the total number of restoration workers to about 5,000 — helping to accelerate the process to get the island back up and running, which is a large-scale mission that requires extensive preparation.
“In this case, we had to ship the trucks and equipment by barge to Puerto Rico and these guys are going to fly down after we already shipped the equipment,” says Linda Foy, BGE spokesperson. “So from a logistical standpoint, it’s very different from what we are used to.”
For some, it’s their first trip out of town.
“Hope this is one of many trips we are able to leave abroad and it’s a good experience for some guys,” Nicholas said.
Their mission is currently scheduled to last 30 days, but that timeframe could change. im tracey leong reporting for wjz.
BGE has also helped areas in Florida and Georgia that were impacted by Hurricane Irma last September.