Louisville Army Corps employees to forgo Thanksgiving, work to restore power after hurricanes

Louisville Army Corps of Engineers working to restore power in Puerto Rico

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Progress is being made in the Caribbean and the US Virgin Islands following the devastating hurricanes earlier this year.

 

Neighborhoods in Puerto Rico are getting their power turned back on thanks to members of the Louisville District of the Army Corps of Engineers.

 

"All of the residents here have been elated that we are just here to help and they understand the difficulty and the complexity," said Linda Murphy.

 

She's a deputy district engineer and part of the Corps' power restoration team.  She's been in Puerto Rico for the last month helping with the island's power company to rebuild nearly the entire power grid.

 

"The original assessments was that we needed over 60-thousand poles, over 7-thousand miles of cable," she told WHAS11 over the phone.

 

In St. Croix, Army Corps employee Eric Cheng is in charge of the debris clean-up.  He flew down in September and found his job to be an instant challenge.

 

"Power lines down everywhere. Never driven over so many downed power lines, telephone lines, power lines and what not," he explained.

 

Still, he and his team went right to work - a major task was clearing the roads.  It paid off recently with the children allowed to return to school.  "Seeing the kids go back to school was a landmark moment in this recovery effort," Cheng said.

 

Their assignments will require them to work through Thanksgiving.  Cheng and Murphy are aware of the seriousness of their responsibilities and the thousands of families relying on their dedication to getting the job done.

 

"I am out here for a reason and I want to use every bit of time I can to contribute to that process," Cheng said.

 

"Right now, I think everybody realizes it's important to serve the people down here and we are going to do everything we can," Murphy said.

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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