The terrain on the eastern edge of El Yunque National Forest is unique. Heavy, red clay lies on top of the bedrock of the mountains. Roads barely wide enough for a bucket truck wind their way between small towns tucked into the valleys surrounding the rainforest. Putting a bucket in the air to work on a pole means blocking the entire road, leaving locals with the choice of taking an hour detour to get to the next village or patiently waiting for the work to be done.
Most choose to wait and watch as the lineworkers ply their trade.
Wednesday was the first day the lineworkers were able to get into their trucks and start repairing a primary line just west of Fajardo, Puerto Rico. Yesterday, after six miles of line had been stretched, several 7,200 pound concrete poles straightened, many steel poles replaced, and countless trees trimmed, the power was finally restored to many homes on the circuit.
If you ask a DTE Energy lineworker, most will tell you that line work is line work. Whether they are restoring power in Southeast Michigan or in Puerto Rico, the basic elements of the job are the same. Based on their reactions last night at dusk when the power was finally back on and people were running out of their homes yelling thank you, restoring power here is an experience they will never forget.