KISSIMMEE, Fla., October 17, 2017 – Following a brief send-off ceremony this morning, Kissimmee Utility Authority lineworkers headed to Puerto Rico to assist with Hurricane Maria power restoration efforts.
The team of six lineworkers flew from Orlando to San Juan today where they will meet up with their fleet of trucks which were shipped from the Port of Jacksonville last week. The crews will remain in Puerto Rico for a minimum of 30 days.
Those assisting with the mutual aid effort are:
Robert Diaz – Lineman First Class
Kevon McKinsey – Lineman
Tony Nasco – Lineman
Angel Quiles – Facilities Maintenance Worker
Shane Paras – Lead Lineman
Luis Santiago – Line Crew Supervisor
According to Monday’s restoration report from the U.S. Department of Energy, 86.3 percent of Puerto Rico or 2.9 million residents are still without electricity. To date, 235 of 1,106 transmission lines have been energized, and 115 of 342 substations are now operational. More than 50,000 utility poles on the island need to be replaced and 6,500 miles of cable must be restrung – the distance from Kissimmee to Cairo, Egypt.
Puerto Rico holds a special place in the heart of many Kissimmee residents. The number of Hispanics of Puerto Rican origin living in Florida is more than one million, with the highest number (31 percent) living in the Orlando-Kissimmee metro region, according to Census Bureau data.
Founded in 1901, KUA (https://kua.com) is Florida’s sixth largest community-owned utility powering 74,000 customers in Osceola County, Fla.