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Webster County crews prepare to help Puerto Rico

Many in Puerto Rico are still without power. A western Kentucky company is now preparing to head to the island to restore service to those who haven't had electricity for a month.


"When devastation hits, they strap their boots on, they pack their bags,” says Scott Whitsell, V.P of Operations for 5 Star Electric LLC.


The start of their truck engines at their Clay facility, signaling the start of their effort to help Puerto Rico.


"This is what we do,” says District Manager Jeremy Lovan. Crews plan to spend up to four months on the island rebuilding substations and building new power lines and poles. At least 200  workers, both current and newly-hired,  are among those planning to be in Puerto Rico the next several months. the company started sending trucks and other equipment recently for work to start.


"It's tough on people leaving their children behind, but at the same time, there's a sense of pride they have to go help communities and help the people of Puerto Rico,” Whitsell says.


Lovan is headed there, just months after working in areas devastated by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma.


"The spot I was in in Texas was where Harvey had hit. it was real bad and it was catastrophic,” he recalled. He also says time in hurricane hit areas can be emotional, and very rewarding once progress is made.


"The longer you are there, and you progressively see things coming back, it makes you feel good, and it gives you the sense like you've done something for somebody,” says Lovan.


5 Star officials say the first group of workers will be leaving next month at the earliest.


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(This story was originally published on October 25, 2017)

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