The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority is requesting that between 1,000 and 1,500 additional restoration workers be sent to the island restore electricity after Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

The office of Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló said Friday that the authority was seeking the extra workers from electric companies throughout the United States.

A Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority vehicle helps Levittown residents after Hurricane Maria.
The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority is seeking to accelerate its restoration of power in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.

The workers would add to the 3,500 already taking part in the effort to restore power on the island.

The authority said about 55% of its customers had electrical service. The authority’s generating capacity is around 70%. Puerto Rico was hit by Irma on Sept. 6 and by Maria on Sept. 20.

“We understand how difficult it has been for the people of Puerto Rico who have been without power for so long,” Rosselló said. “We are confident that with the arrival of more workers from the United States utility companies, along with an updated restoration plan, we will see progress in reconnecting the energy service to everyone.”

As brigades do evaluation and restoration, they have been finding unexpected sorts of damage from the hurricanes, said PREPA restoration coordinator Carlos Torres. The damage includes substations and transmission and distribution system structures.

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