PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Puerto Rican authorities are requesting still more help to restore electricity, months after Hurricane Maria made landfall, causing so much destruction.
PECO and its parent corporation, Exelon, are among the power industry groups sending people and equipment.
All told, more than 1,500 utility workers were recently requested, and Exelon is sending its share, 140 people, including 16 lineworkers from PECO. Company spokeswoman Kristina Pappas says vehicles and equipment are also being shipped by barge to the island.
Dr. Carmen Febo San Miguel, a leader with Unidos PA’PR, a local coalition organized to respond and provide hurricane relief efforts to Puerto Rico, just returned from a ten-day visit. She’s impressed by the effort by those on the island, but saddened so many are still without basic necessities.
“What is there to say, it’s a very disappointing reality,” said Miguel.
She remains frustrated that the “response has not been as swift or complete” as they would have hoped.
“Close to 50 percent of the population still had no electricity four months out. This is the kind of stuff that would never happen in the United States. After all, Puerto Rico is an American territory,” said Miguel.
In Philadelphia, a Disaster Assistance Services Center served victims who were displaced from Hurricane Maria, but it closed in December. The center says it helped more than 1,950 people across 875 families.