Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico in late September, leaving massive amounts of destruction, including a near depletion of the area’s electric grid. OUC will join PR’s power company, PREPA, as well as fellow U.S. mainland utilities, to help restore electricity to the 80 percent that remains in the dark. Fourteen line techs, engineers and fleet personnel will travel to PR to help get the lights back on. Follow this blog, as well as our Facebook and Twitter accounts, for updates from the field. Mayor of Aguas Buenas Accepts Keys to OUC Truck Wednesday, November 29
Today, OUC’s Carmelo Nieves handed over the keys to another OUC vehicle ahead of the crew’s departure back to Orlando. Mayor of Aguas Buenas, Javier Garcia, accepted the donation for use by the local government. The guys were incredibly honored to help the island in its efforts to restore power following Hurricane Maria.
OUC Donates Vehicle to Sisters of Notre Dame in Gurabo, Puerto Rico Wednesday, November 22
Ahead of their return home, OUC’s Luis Burgos and Eric Rivera handed over the title to one of our Ford F-250 pick-up trucks to Sister Armand Ayala of the Sisters of Notre Dame. She runs a retirement home on the island – which has been in operation for more than a century. The facility houses retired nuns from areas as far as Canada.
Some of the nuns are very old and frail, and one has been in a coma for more than a year, requiring 24-hour life support. Sister Ayala tells us our donation gives them more capacity to move fuel for the critical life support system on a single trip instead of every few hours. The sisters sent their blessings to OUC and the residents of the Orlando.
Phone Update from the Island with OUC Sr. Engineer Thursday, November 16
We recently spoke on the phone to Marcos Laborde, OUC Sr. Engineer, who is part of our crew working on the island. Marcos explained what our guys are seeing and experiencing.
Crew Begins Work in Aguas Buenas, PR Sunday, November 12
In the early hours of Sunday, November 12, under pouring rain, an OUC crew prepared to head to hard-hit Aguas Buenas, Puerto Rico. Hurricane Maria left this area in total devastation, and nearly two months later, its residents still sit in the dark. Our guys worked to untangle and reattach a fallen neutral in order to repair a feeder line that provides power to a nearby water treatment plant. It’s imperative for them to work to get this plant back up and running, as effluents from the non-working plant discharge into La Plata River, a main source of drinking water for so many Puerto Rican citizens.
Ten Additional OUC Employees Leave for Puerto Rico Wednesday, November 8
This morning, 10 more line techs, engineers and fleet personnel jetted off to Puerto Rico to assist with Hurricane Maria restoration efforts. Brent Lowery, Line Supervisor; Mike Atout, Line Technician 2; John Wallace, Line Technician 3; Andrew Phillips, Apprentice Line Technician; Glenn Massari, Lead Line Technician; Dewey Harvey, Line Technician 1; Bryan Walsh, Line Technician 2; Chris Traniello, Line Technician 3; Chase Crawford, Apprentice Line Technician; and Marcos Laborde Delgado, Engineer, were joined by their families for a send-off at Orlando International Airport.
While they will certainly miss the guys, their loved ones said they are incredibly proud of the sacrifice they’re making to help our island neighbors in need.
Once the guys begin working, they will provide updates from the field. Stay tuned to this blog to follow their journey.
First OUC Crew Flies to Puerto Rico Friday, November 3
This morning at 9 a.m., the initial OUC crew flew to Puerto Rico to begin assisting with restoration efforts following Hurricane Maria. Luis Burgos, Line Technician 1; Hector Ramos, Lead Line Technician; Carmelo Nieves, Distribution Engineer; and Eric Rivera, Fleet Technician, left ahead of rest of the crew to meet the first shipment of OUC bucket trucks and support vehicles at the Port of San Juan. Another team of 10 will depart for the island next week. Stay tuned to this page for updates from the guys along the way!
Luis Burgos, Line Technician 1, Explains Why He’s Honored to Help Puerto Rico Monday, October 30
When Hurricane Maria destroyed nearly all of Puerto Rico’s electric grid, OUC’s Luis Burgos was one of the first to volunteer to help.
City of Orlando District 2 Commissioner Tony Ortiz Visits OUC Crew Headed to Puerto Rico Monday, October 24, 10 a.m.
This morning, Commissioner Tony Ortiz spoke to the crew of 14 line techs, engineers and fleet personnel headed to Puerto Rico to help restore power to the island ravaged by Hurricane Maria. Ortiz thanked the crew on behalf of Orlando sacrificing so much to help an area in need. CLICK HERE for coverage from the Orlando Sentinel and CLICK HERE for coverage from El Sentinel.
- Brent Lowery, Line Supervisor
- Hector Ramos, Lead Line Technician
- Luis Burgos, Line Technician 1
- Mike Atout, Line Technician 2
- John Wallace, Line Technician 3
- Andrew Phillips, Apprentice Line Technician
- Glenn Massari, Lead Line Technician
- Dewey Harvey, Line Technician 1
- Bryan Walsh, Line Technician 2
- Chris Traniello, Line Technician 3
- Chase Crawford, Apprentice Line Technician
- Carmelo Nieves, Engineer
- Marcos Laborde Delgado, Engineer
- Eric Rivera, Fleet Technician
OUC Trucks Head to Port of Jacksonville
Monday, October 23, 8 a.m.
Before the sun came up this morning, an OUC crew readied nearly 10 vehicles, including bucket trucks, pickups and vans, to head over to Jacksonville to get equipped with GPS ahead of their journey to Puerto Rico. Later this week, the trucks will be loaded onto a ship at the Port of Jacksonville bound for the hard hit island.
Next week, we expect the a crew of 14 line techs, engineers and fleet personnel to head to PR to begin work. The guys will work with PREPA, Puerto Rico’s utility, and other utilities from the mainland U.S., to restore power to the nearly 80 percent of the area that remains in the dark.