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New Mexico Xcel employees to work in Puerto Rico

Xcel trucks head to Puerto Rico via barge as crews prepare to help restore electrical power to the region, still dealing with massive damage as a result of Hurricane Maria. The trucks left this week from Lake Charles, Louisiana. (Submitted Photo)

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Roswell employees of Xcel Energy will travel to Puerto Rico as part of teams assisting in restoring electrical power to the U.S. territory.

Xcel announced Wednesday that it will send about 65 line workers and support staff from New Mexico, Texas, Colorado and the Upper Midwest to Puerto Rico beginning at the end of January. About 30 will be from New Mexico and Texas, and they are expected to leave in two groups starting Feb. 1.

Hundreds of thousands of people remain without electrical power in Puerto Rico since Hurricane Maria ravaged the area in September, becoming the worst natural disaster to affect the region.

Some Xcel trucks are already en route to the island via barge, according to a company new release, and crews will fly there starting at the end of the month to work in collaboration with the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA).

PREPA is coordinating with the Edison Electric Institute, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on damage assessment and a coordinated restoration plan.

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More than 20 U.S. electric companies, including Xcel Energy, are assisting in the restoration effort, adding 1,500 workers to a project that involves more than 5,000 people.

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