Seattle-based marine transportation and logistics provider Foss Maritime is loading hundreds of utility trucks onto barges bound for Puerto Rico this week as part of ongoing efforts to restore power to the nearly half of Puerto Rico’s population that is still without electricity in the wake of Hurricane Maria.
The utility truck loadings are taking place the Port of Virginia in Norfolk and the Port of Lake Charles in Louisiana, Foss said Jan. 4.
Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló said Dec. 29 that 1.5 million Puerto Ricans are still without power 100 days after Hurricane Maria hit the island on Sept. 20. As part of the on-going power restoration effort, Foss is working with a coalition of 19 U.S. electric companies to deliver between 500 and 600 utility trucks, including bucket trucks, line trucks, pickups, aerial lifts, CAT skid-steer loaders, digger derricks, and pull trailers.
The electric companies are supporting the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers efforts to restore power throughout the island.
“This movement of hundreds of utility trucks is part of a comprehensive mobilization effort to get needed equipment to the island so utility crews can begin restoring power for the people of Puerto Rico,” Foss Chief Commercial Officer Will Roberts explained.
The voyage from the U.S. mainland to Puerto Rico’s Port of Ponce is expected to take about 10 days, with the trucks scheduled to arrive between Jan. 16 and Jan. 18. Hundreds of line workers and other personnel from participating electric companies are scheduled to fly to meet the trucks and work on restoring power.
In addition to Foss’s current project shipping utility trucks, the company has been helping support relief and rebuilding efforts in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands for several months.
Foss arrived at the island on Oct. 19 under contract with FEMA, bringing three accommodation vessels, an ocean-going tug and more than 100 personnel to provide warm meals and “floating hotels” for hundreds of first responders, including workers from the U.S. Department of Defense, FEMA and AmeriCorps.
The company has also shipped a load of power equipment and three loads of water to the island, and still has vessels in the region to assist continuing recovery efforts.
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