OG&E sends second crew to Puerto Rico to help restore power, 1st crew returns home

OG&E crews restore power lines in Puerto Rico after damage from Hurricane Maria. (OG&E/@ogande)

The second wave of OG&E crews heading to help get the lights back on in Puerto Rico is officially there and ready to work.

The 50-member line crew left for the island territory 5:45 a.m. Thursday. They're replacing the first crew that's worked in Puerto Rico since Jan. 20. Those linemen arrived in Oklahoma City Thursday night.

"A lot of damage and a lot of work to do, but our guys did a good job and accomplished what we went there to do," said storm lead Steve Watkins.

He says OG&E crews replaced power poles and put up transformers, in turn transforming the lives of many Puerto Ricans.

"Some people were dancing and singing, and some people were crying," Watkins said. "Being out of power for four months is a long time."

The deployments are part of an effort to help with ongoing power restoration in the country after Hurricane Maria devastated the island. OG&E is one of more than a dozen electric companies across the nation that have mobilized at the request of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority.

Crews from OG&E are assigned to the Arecibo region and will work alongside teams from Dallas-based Oncor and Houston-based CenterPoint Energy. They'll be on the island for 20 days, beginning Friday.

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