Middletown Mayor Larry Mulligan presented a proclamation and told the linemen it’s easy for customers to take electricity and utilities for granted. He said linemen are “first responders” when there’s a disaster. He also applauded those Duke employees who responded to a power restoration assignment in Puerto Rico last year after Hurricane Maria devastated the region.
Hurricane Maria is regarded as the worst natural disaster on record in Dominica and Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico suffered catastrophic damage, including destruction of its previously damaged electrical grid.
One of those 240 Duke employees who spent 54 days in Puerto Rico was Luis Amaya, a 29-year veteran at Duke. Repairing the electricity in Puerto Rico was a “once-in-a-lifetime” experience, Amaya said.
He said the task was completed, though workers were without much of the proper equipment.
“It was a challenge,” he said. “But we were up to the challenge.”
After nearly three decades with Duke, Amaya said he enjoys watching employees rise through the ranks, from training to be linemen to becoming supervisors.
“Pretty cool,” he said. “It’s nice to see them grow.”