CenterPoint crews from Houston help restore power in Puerto Rico

PUERTO RICO (KTRK) -- Electricity is returning for many people in Puerto Rico since the island was devastated by Hurricane Maria, partly thanks to CenterPoint crews from Houston.

In December, 57 CenterPoint trucks started the 2,000-mile journey to Puerto Rico, where they will work to help restore power.

The trucks traveled by barge for two weeks. Sixty-eight CenterPoint workers flew to the island for training. They are expected to work 16-hour shifts for six weeks, rotating as they need rest

Eyewitness News Courtney Fischer spoke to some of the workers before they left.

"This is really part of who we are and what we do," said Steve Greenley with CenterPoint Energy.

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CenterPoint is sending crews to Puerto Rico to restore power after Hurricane Maria.

Thousands are still without power, though it's unknown how high the exact number is. San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz has called federal response inadequate. She slammed President Donald Trump, calling him "Disaster-In-Chief."

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says 100 percent of power will likely not be restored until the end of May.

"We want to be part of helping solve the problem. We know it's been a long time. The logistics of a restoration effort like this are very complex so it does take time to get the right people, the right materials, the right equipment in place," Greenley said.
RELATED: Puerto Rican students rejoice when electricity returns after 112 days without it

The biggest challenge for crews from Houston is just getting to the island. They'll have to navigate rough, mountainous terrain, and in some cases, deal with little or no road access. Regardless, crews are eager to go.

"Really ready to start the work and help get Puerto Rico back on its feet," Greenley said.
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