The last of three waves of Ameren line workers and support personnel from Illinois and Missouri have just returned from Puerto Rico.
Deployed for consecutive three-week rotations since January, Ameren crews repaired energy infrastructure and helped restore power following the catastrophic destruction of electric infrastructure following Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
The 225 Ameren workers were part of a larger group of more than 3,000 power-restoration workers coordinated by the Edison Electric Institute (EEI), an electric industry association.
“The work of our Ameren co-workers, EEI member colleagues and workers from other power companies was nothing short of extraordinary,” said Warner Baxter, chairman, president, and CEO of Ameren Corporation. “For months, our team has worked tirelessly to provide power to the people of Puerto Rico, as well as its communities and businesses decimated by the hurricanes.
“The work was extremely challenging and rewarding. I am very grateful that our teams all returned home safely, and I am proud that they conducted their work with high levels of competence and compassion.”
According to the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA), more than 95 percent of the customers who are able to receive electricity now have their power restored. When the additional workers from EEI arrived on the island in early January, approximately 56 percent of those who could receive power had been restored at that time.
Work continues to achieve full restoration in remote and mountainous areas of Puerto Rico that have limited access.
Ameren workers who deployed to Puerto Rico said they were overwhelmed by the generosity, spirit and resilience of the people of Puerto Rico, who would offer thanks by baking cakes and cooking meals for the workers.
“Our crews are trained and highly experienced in providing power-restoration assistance to communities during times of need,” said Liz Lahm, senior director of crisis management for Ameren. “Whether that restoration work takes place near home or more than 2,000 miles away, communities can count on Ameren for support and assistance. We are grateful to those Ameren employees who volunteered to work in Puerto Rico during the past three months, and we’re glad they’ve returned safely.”