MN Power and SWLP Teams Help get the Lights on in Puerto Rico

The crews restored lights to more than 340 customers on Friday

DULUTH, Minn – After more than a month in Puerto Rico, the line workers weren’t sure they would be there when power was restored where they’d been working in Maricao, a remote, mountainous area hit hard by Hurricane Maria. But, on Friday February 23, just 4 hours before they were set to leave, the lights came back on.

“It was amazing,” supervisor Dean Erdman said by telephone Monday morning as he described what happened Friday afternoon on the island. “Unbelievable.”

About 340 customers had power by the time crews ended their workday an hour later than usual Friday evening. Erdman said another 20 to 40 customers will have their power back today as the second group of line workers from MP/SWLP dives into work.

After nearly five months of living without electricity, there was no denying the joy of Maricao residents on Friday afternoon. “It’s like seeing your kid opening a present at Christmastime,” Erdman said.

After “working their butts off,” the crews sat down to a steak dinner at a restaurant Friday night, Erdman said. All they could talk about were the customers and being able to finally restore power to them.

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