Shown above: A family in the Caguas area thanks PPL Electric Utilities crews after having its power restored.

Gratitude and hard work are the order of the day in the Caguas, Puerto Rico, area, where PPL Electric Utilities crews are hard at work restoring power to residents who have been without it since last fall.

After arriving on the island last week, PPL’s 37 employees quickly settled into the effort of setting poles, running electrical wire, and restoring damage still remaining from Hurricane Maria. Earlier this week, the workers had the satisfaction of restoring their first customers.

“People here have been very appreciative of our efforts,” reported Brian Matweecha, manager-Safety Operations, who is part of the work team in Caguas.

Our employees in Puerto Rico – all of whom volunteered to go – said they welcome the opportunity to help bring people’s lives closer to normal after being without power for so long.

Some of our employees have family in Puerto Rico. Others have relatives in other places that have been hit by storms; they say helping the people of Puerto Rico is as close as they can come to helping their own families.

Still others have no direct personal connection to the island. But they feel a desire to help people who have gone without electricity for so long – just as they work to serve PPL Electric Utilities customers after storms back in Pennsylvania.

Social media response from Puerto Rico to PPL’s mutual assistance has been overwhelmingly positive and thankful. A sample of the messages:

While crews work in Puerto Rico, support workers back home in Pennsylvania are handling necessary logistics related to their work.

PPL is one of 18 electric utilities from around the nation sending crews in an effort being coordinated by the Edison Electric Institute, an industry trade group.

Sending repair crews to hard-hit areas in other parts of the country is a normal part of utility mutual aid, which also benefits PPL customers after damaging storms here at home. There are plenty of line repair personnel staying behind to handle any outages in PPL’s territory.