Norwich Public Utilities (NPU)

A municipally owned utility serving Norwich, CT with
natural gas, electricity, water and sewer services.

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NPU Newsroom
Tuesday, 23 January 2018 15:47

NPU helping Puerto Rico in power restoration


Norwich Public Utilities (NPU) is dispatching the first of what will be a rotation of two-man line crews to Puerto Rico as part of an industry-wide effort to assist with power restoration for an island that was devastated by Hurricanes Irma and Maria over a two-week period last September.

NPU is participating as a member of the American Public Power Association, which is supporting the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) in the restoration effort along with other mainland utilities and the federal government.

“Whenever NPU has the capacity and the ability to provide mutual aid to another utility and to help thousands of people in need, we will,” said John Bilda, General Manager of NPU. “We are proud to provide support to the residents of Puerto Rico during this unprecedented time.”

The NPU crews will be working in Carolina - on the northeast coast of Puerto Rico - under one of seven Incident Management Teams set up by the electric industry. Carolina has a population of approximately 113,000.

At this time, it is estimated that 62 percent of customers in Puerto Rico have electricity. NPU crews will be working to repair and reinstall utility poles and wires for the distribution system that was heavily damaged in the fall.

Approximately 1,500 utility workers from the mainland United States - including lineworkers and others from public power utilities and investor-owned utilities - are deploying to Puerto Rico this month alone to help PREPA restore electric service.

Lineworkers Will Maxeiner and Tom Holmes will arrive in Puerto Rico on Wednesday, January 24 and work for two weeks; on or about February 7, they will be replaced by two other NPU lineworkers.

Earlier this month, NPU delivered a bucket truck to Norfolk, Virginia which was later placed on a barge for transport to Puerto Rico, which is scheduled to arrive on Saturday, January 27.

NPU provided extensive mutual aid to the US Virgin Islands in the fall, with numerous linemen spending time in St. Thomas, restoring power to thousands of residents that were also impacted by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.


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