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USACE deputy visits Task Force Power in Puerto Rico

Task Force Power Restoration
Published Jan. 4, 2018
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Deputy Commanding General for Civil and Emergency Operations Maj. Gen. Donald E. "Ed" Jackson speaks to power restoration leaders Thomas Holden, Jr., USACE Grid Power Program director, Carlos Torres, Puerto Rico Power Restoration coordinator, Dr. Ahsha Tribble, FEMA Power Sector chief, Col. John Lloyd, Task Force Power Restoration Commander, and Justo Gonzalez, PREPA interim director, at the daily stakeholder coordination meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Jan. 4.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Deputy Commanding General for Civil and Emergency Operations Maj. Gen. Donald E. "Ed" Jackson speaks to power restoration leaders Thomas Holden, Jr., USACE Grid Power Program director, Carlos Torres, Puerto Rico Power Restoration coordinator, Dr. Ahsha Tribble, FEMA Power Sector chief, Col. John Lloyd, Task Force Power Restoration Commander, and Justo Gonzalez, PREPA interim director, at the daily stakeholder coordination meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Jan. 4.

Maj. Gen. Donald E. "Ed" Jackson, the deputy commanding general for civil and emergency operations, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and Task Force Power Restoration Commander Col. John Lloyd are briefed by a worker from Corps contractor Fluor about work to restore power on a hill top in Canovanas, Puerto Rico, Jan. 4. USACE is partnering with the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, the Department of Energy, FEMA and contracted partners, to restore safe and reliable power to the people of Puerto Rico. As assigned by FEMA, USACE leads the federal effort to repair the hurricane-damaged electrical power grid in support of the Government of Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority reports 55 percent or 808,500 of the 1.47M customers who are able to receive electric power have their service restored.

Maj. Gen. Donald E. "Ed" Jackson, the deputy commanding general for civil and emergency operations, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and Task Force Power Restoration Commander Col. John Lloyd are briefed by a worker from Corps contractor Fluor about work to restore power on a hill top in Canovanas, Puerto Rico, Jan. 4. USACE is partnering with the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, the Department of Energy, FEMA and contracted partners, to restore safe and reliable power to the people of Puerto Rico. As assigned by FEMA, USACE leads the federal effort to repair the hurricane-damaged electrical power grid in support of the Government of Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority reports 55 percent or 808,500 of the 1.47M customers who are able to receive electric power have their service restored.

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Deputy Commanding General for Civil and Emergency Operations Maj. Gen. Donald E. "Ed" Jackson visited Task Force Power Restoration at the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority Jan. 4 to get an update on the mission and to meet team members.

Jackson told the task force that he and the people on the island he has met appreciate the employees for having left their homes during the holidays to do something 'above and beyond' that is really making a difference for Puerto Ricans impacted by hurricanes Irma and Maria, which devastated the commonwealth in September 2017.

"I just want to thank you guys for all that you're doing," said Jackson. "I know there are lots of challenges that you have, that you're working through, and we're committed at the headquarters level to help work through all of them."

The challenges of terrain, status of the grid before the storms and the sheer devastation caused by the hurricanes have made restoration efforts arduous. Despite the difficulties, the unified team of PREPA, USACE, industry and FEMA is making progress every day. Power generation topped 72 percent Jan. 3, while PREPA reports 55 percent, or approximately 808,500 of 1.47 million customers who are able to receive power have service restored.

The Edison Electric Institute announced Dec. 26, 2017, that its member investor-owned electric companies are sending more restoration workers and equipment by Jan. 12, while the Corps is increasing its capacity, all in a unified push to speed the effort to 'get the lights back on.'


"We've got great partnerships that we've established with a multitude of folks here on the island and within the interagency [family], and we're just going to continue to leverage those and draw on those, because this is a team effort," said Jackson. "Everything that we do to get this power back on is a team effort and requires everybody working well together."

During his visit, Jackson toured power restoration sites on the east side of the greater San Juan area where he observed Corps contractor crews working on transmission and distribution lines. He then attended the daily stakeholder coordination meeting led by Puerto Rico Power Restoration Coordinator Carlos Torres, FEMA Power Sector Chief Dr. Ahsha Tribble and Task Force Power Restoration Commander Col. John Lloyd.