TAMPA, Fla. — TECO crews are leaving for Puerto Rico on Wednesday morning to help restore power to the country following Hurricane Maria.
— Tampa Electric (@TampaElectric) January 17, 2018
Eighteen linemen will leave through Tampa International and the rest of the 25-person crew will fly through Orlando.
The linemen will spend six weeks on the island. They are meeting up with two dozen bucket trucks and other vehicles that got to the island via a barge.
— Lauren St. Germain (@LaurenWFTS) January 17, 2018
Workers say that six weeks is a long time to be away from their families, but bringing power back to the people of Puerto Rico is worth it.
One TECO Lineman, Michael Davis, said, “It’s just hard to imagine how long they have been without power. [We are]… going to help people who can’t help themselves. It is what we do.”
Another lineman, Ronald Wright explained why he volunteered to go on this trip, “It’s a feeling that we get that’s hard to explain you know? They get their power back and they are so grateful. It gives us the feeling that we accomplished something in life.”
Wright said, “It’s hard, but it’s rewarding. The hard part for me is leaving my granddaughter. She is my life.”
The linemen echoed Wright’s sentiment, saying it is extremely difficult to leave their families for six weeks, but helping the people who are suffering, is worth it.
Several of the workers have taken trips like this before, traveling to the Bahamas after a major hurricane. The linemen are set to begin work on Friday.