TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Linemen from the Texas-based electric company Oncor are packing up and headed to Puerto Rico in hopes of restoring electricity to residents.
"Best way to explain it," regional customer operations manager Charles Hill said, "is it's what we do."
Nearly six months after Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico, many residents are still living without basic needs. That's why Oncor has been working with FEMA to send rotating shifts of employees to the island.
"If people like us don't go down there and help these folks out, then the power wont come back on," Oncor crew manager Jered Price said.
For almost a month, nearly 150 linemen will be working in the rough terrain and climate of the island.
"A lot of mountains, a lot of rivers, having to literally hike through forest to set poles and pull wire," Hill said.
But Price and the other linemen know it will all be worth it when they see Puerto Ricans with power.
"It's a feeling you cant describe," Price said. "When those folks' lights come back on, it's a sense of gratitude that you can't explain."
This will be the second group of linemen to travel to Puerto Rico in hopes of restoring electricity, and if you ask them how long they plan to continue this relief work, they say:
"Until someone tells us to stop," Hill said.
And as long as there is work to be done, Oncor will be helping out fellow Americans one power line at a time.
"Go down there, work safe, and be productive," Hill said.
The second wave of Oncor linemen will leave from Dallas Love Field Airport on Saturday morning around 7 a.m. and land in Puerto Rico in around 2 p.m. their time.