Alabama Power crews helping restore electricity to Puerto Rico - FOX10 News | WALA

Alabama Power crews helping restore electricity to Puerto Rico

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AL Power helping restore power in Puerto Rico. Source: AL Power AL Power helping restore power in Puerto Rico. Source: AL Power
MOBILE, AL (WALA) -

It's hard to believe, but six months after two hurricanes hit Puerto Rico -- there are still people in the dark. Among those helping restore power on the island nation are crews with Alabama Power.

Puerto Rico is still in recovery mode after taking a double punch from Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Power restoration proving much harder for crews on the ground.  

"We were just expecting to go over there and get busy and get to work. We got over there and it was a little different than we thought it would be," said Ed Holmes, lineman with AL Power. 

Holmes was there for nearly two months with Alabama Power working on the western part of the island and says the terrain was by far their biggest challenge. Utilizing drones to help pull their lines, the crew even picked up some tricks from the locals. 

"Everybody there has a machete and that's so they can get around in the woods... Everybody ended up toting a machete with them every day to cut them a trail out in there -- to get up and out of the bottoms and up the hills," said Holmes. 

They also had some help from a little boy they met on the street.  

"He would try to hang out with us every day. On the weekends his momma would bring him out with us and he would ride around with the foreman in the truck all day long," said Holmes. 

Putting on a hard hat and vest, the 9-year-old was quickly calling the shots. 

"We called him 'El Capitan' - because he thought he was in charge. Laughs. He pulled up and if he though you wasn't doing anything he would pull up and tell you to to work," said Holmes. "He had a little toy gun and we said - man, what do you want to be -- a cop when you grow up? He said no - I want to be a lineman like y'all. I think we really made an impression on him."

Holmes says hard work never felt so good, especially by the gratitude that follows as life on the island slowly returns to normal. 

"We were there for 56 days. The days start to get longer and harder. When you turn the lights on and you see grown men dancing down the street and shooting fireworks... It makes you feel good about what you are doing," said Holmes. "We call it a victory lap. It's just great day and extremely rewarding when we can help people."

Alabama Power currently has another crew in Puerto Rico -- due back home in a couple of weeks.

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