Power up: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers sets new record in Puerto Rico.

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SAN JUAN – (Caribbean Business). The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has set a new record for power-generator installations.

The Corps installed its 311th temporary generator on Oct. 28 in support of Hurricane María response and recovery efforts, breaking a previous record set in 2007.

After sustaining damages by Hurricane Irma and two weeks later by María, a Category 4 hurricane, Puerto Rico’s power grid collapsed.

Soldiers from the 249th Engineer Battalion and contractors carry cabling to support a generator. (Screen capture of www.army.mil; USACE photo)

“The previous mark of 310 generators installed was set during Hurricane Katrina response efforts in 2007,” Mobile District’s commander, Col. James DeLapp, said in a statement. “The temporary power mission in Puerto Rico has surpassed the previous mark and continues to climb.”

The Corps says it has installed generators at 48 hospitals, 190 water-treatment plants, and 44 wastewater facilities, as well as 30 emergency services centers and the 9-1-1 call center.

As of Nov. 1, the Corps has installed 366 generators and is currently averaging approximately 20 installations a day. “At this rate, we could easily double the installation number of the previous record and the big difference is these will likely be in place for months,” DeLapp said.

“This has been a massive response to a massive disaster,” DeLapp added. “It’s hard to understand how catastrophic the damage is until you see it for yourself. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the people of Puerto Rico. But, more than that, we are here working to help Puerto Rico recover as quickly as possible.”

The commander said USACE has close to 600 soldiers and civilians deployed to Puerto Rico.

“Our numbers are growing exponentially and the number of local contractors we’re employing is growing exponentially. And, we’re not leaving until we’ve done everything we can to help the residents of Puerto Rico return to normalcy.”

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