Power crews from Carolinas working in Puerto Rico

PONCE, PUERTO RICO (WSPA) – An Upstate man is among roughly 200 Duke Energy workers on the ground in Puerto Rico.

The country is still dealing with the devastation from Hurricane Maria 5 months ago.

Mike Lequire is from the Anderson area. Duke workers are on the south side of the island, in a community called Ponce, restoring power.

“We’re in some pretty remote locations with the terrain. We’re about the three thousand foot elevation,” said Lequire. “It takes a lot of manpower to do what we do. The big -equipment, we’re using it but a lot of everything we’re doing is by hand.”

They said the rough terrain makes it a a slow process, but they’ve gotten power back on for 600 people in the past month.

“You can still see so many structures that have damage just by the blue tarps that are on the roofs and they stand out very clearly when you’re coming in by plane,” said Duke Energy Spokesman Ryan Mosier, who is also on the island.

Duke Energy crews were slated to be in Puerto Rico for 45 to 60 days before returning to the states. They’ve been on the ground for about 31 days.