On September 20, 2017, Puerto Rico experienced arguably the worst natural disaster in its history in Hurricane Maria. Not only did this hurricane leave over 1,400 people dead, but the entire power grid was wiped out, leaving all residents without electricity. The result has been nearly a year of rebuilding and recovery. People on the island had to find ways to survive with limited resources as power was restored in phases.
Finally, the news many waited for arrived. Reports surfaced the entire power grid in Puerto Rico returned back online. The city of Ponce was the last area to be serviced. For resident Charlie Colon Nazario, this was wonderful news, particularly after using other means for light in his home.
“No more lamps, no more candles, no more extension cords,” he told El Nuevo Dia.
Helicopters proved to be a vital part in repairing the last powerlines in Puerto Rico. Due to landslides and other dangers on the ground, electrical crews used aerial methods. A helicopter was able to install steel power lines in place of the damaged wood. Carlos Alvarado, chief of technical operations, hopes these powerlines will withstand future storms.
“They will have a more robust system,” he said.
Though life for Puerto Rican residents is returning back to normal, ways to combat natural disasters will be important in the future. The lessons from this storm could inspire new ways to keep people safe and their lights on at home. This includes using steel or stronger materials to replace wood powerlines where possible.
No one knows if or when an event like Hurricane Maria will happen again. However, due to Puerto Rico‘s geographical location, yearly tropical storms will almost always affect the island in some way. It’s best to stay prepared to reduce as much risk and loss of life as possible.
Fortunately, there are options that may mitigate damage and fatalities. Helicopters could be useful again to replace power lines, particularly if the steel replacements prove to be strong in inclement weather. They’re already a safer option when it’s too dangerous for utility crews to work on the ground. Plus, helicopters can lift large, heavy equipment and place them where ground vehicles can’t reach.
Using helicopters in emergencies such as Hurricane Maria can ensure a way to not only save lives, but rebuild what’s been lost. However, not all helicopter services are the same. FairLifts is a top source for helicopter providers that are efficient and dependable. No matter what emergency you have or challenge you’re facing, FairLifts can help you complete your job safely. Contact us, and we’ll set you up with a provider today!