Kissimmee utility workers return home from restoring power in Puerto Rico

Crew completed critical repairs to island's electrical grid

By Emilee Speck - Digital journalist

From left to right: Angel Quiles, Tony Nasco, Luis Santiago, Shane Paras, Kevon McKinsey and Robert Diaz on the tarmac of the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport on Tuesday as they prepared to return home to Central Florida.

KISSIMMEE, Fla. - After more than a month assisting the hurricane-battered island of Puerto Rico in getting back on the grid, six Kissimmee Utility Authority crewmen are back home in time to spend Thanksgiving with their families.

The crew left for San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Oct. 17 to help restore power, after more than 90 percent of the island's electricity was knocked out by Hurricane Maria. The six linemen were contracted to work for 30 days, but stayed on for six more days to complete critical repairs to the island's electrical grid.

The Kissimmee crew, working with other utility companies from around the U.S., restored power to an estimated 1 million people, according to KUA officials.

KUA general manager and President Jim Welsh praised the team for their work.

“We are extremely proud of their efforts,” Welsh said. “We’re glad to have them home and grateful they are able to spend Thanksgiving with their families.”

KUA teams also helped restore power after Hurricane Irma in their home communities and in Key West, Orlando and Lakeland.



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