LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Crews from Xcel Energy are traveling to Puerto Rico to help efforts to restore power to the island.
About 30 linemen, safety consultants, and supervisors will help rebuild the electrical infrastructure destroyed by Hurricane Maria in September. They will also assist the American Electric Power Utility Company under the direction of FEMA.
Many of the workers have helped with relief efforts after Hurricane Sandy, in Florida, and after tornadoes in Oklahoma, but they know this mission will be one of their toughest yet.
"We've been told we're being put in the mountainous areas of Puerto Rico, which is going to be a little different from us obviously out here in west Texas, but we're looking forward to getting out there and getting as many lights on as quick as we can the safest we can get them on," said Delwin Britton with Xcel Energy.
Brandon Zahn said, "It'll be a bit of a struggle but at the same time it will be exciting to have the opportunity to go help. All of the guys in this group see these people as we would see our family, you know. Not having power for months is just hard to fathom."
This group left for Puerto Rico on a direct American Airlines flight Monday, January 29th, and will stay in Puerto Rico for a maximum of 30 days before another group relieves them.
"All these guys are my brothers, I've been around them for years, and that's the main thing for me is that we all come home the same way that we left today," said Britton.
We will be following up with Xcel to learn about their trip and the difference they are making for the island.