Governor Andrew M. Cuomo this week announced the deployment of 72 additional New York State electric utility experts to Puerto Rico to assist with the ongoing recovery of Puerto Rico's power grid. The deployment coincides with the arrival of a barge loaded with an additional 55 utility vehicles and equipment docking at the port in San Juan. Under Governor Cuomo's direction, this week's deployment brings the total number of New York utility personnel involved in the power restoration effort to 457 along with approximately 330 New York utility vehicles and other power recovery equipment to assist with the island's restoration of power.
"From day one, we have put boots on the ground to help our brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico, and we remain committed to helping them during every step of the recovery effort," Governor Cuomo said. "With the addition of this deployment, we have hundreds of New York utility workers in Puerto Rico who are taking a hands-on role in helping repair the power grid and providing storm recovery expertise."
This latest wave of New York utility assistance responds to Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló's request for utility mutual aid resources in order to accelerate the power restoration process on the island. New York utilities providing support include crews and experts from the New York Power Authority, National Grid, Con Edison, PSEG, Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp, and AVANGRID.
This week's deployment builds on previous waves of mutual assistance from New York announced by Governor Cuomo on Nov. 21, Nov. 13 and Nov. 2, including the NYPA-led, 28-member Tactical Power Restoration team that specializes in damage assessment of the power distribution system and a team of 15 who are assigned to help expedite the necessary filings for funding reimbursements with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The New York State utility workers are coordinating directly with the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority in cooperation with the United States Army Corps of Engineers. In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Maria, the initial teams of NYPA personnel assisted PREPA in triaging the damage and assessing virtually all of the island's 360 substations.
The arrival of New York's resources and personnel this week also complements two previous deployments of New York State assistance sent to Puerto Rico under Governor Cuomo's direction on Sept. 22 and Sept. 29.