FEMA extends USACE’s Puerto Rico power restoration mission
SAN JUAN – Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Deputy Regional Administrator Michael Byrne, who serves as federal coordinating officer for Hurricane Maria, announced Thursday that additional disaster assistance is available to Puerto Rico, and that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) emergency assignment to restore power after the storm struck the island has been extended.
The extension will allow for the lease, generation and maintenance of three large generators until the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (Prepa) completes its purchase of these generators, according to the announcement.
Additionally, the assistance includes continuing support for more than 700 generators that are in use throughout the island, as well as the extension of USACE’s “logistics and materials management capability” until the public power company can “effectively manage the volume of emergency restoration materials.”
The approval comes after the Puerto Rico government requested on April 29 that the mission be extended to ensure power and backup power generation of critical facilities and infrastructure locations.
However, USACE will no longer provide line restoration work for Prepa as of Friday, May 18. The utility will oversee its contractors and the remaining grid-restoration work.