A group of FortisBC employees helping in the recovery effort in Turks and Caicos were evacuated to Miami on Wednesday until Hurricane Maria passes through the region.
The group of seven B.C. employees, which includes two from Trail, was in the region to help restore power following the damage from Hurricane Irma earlier this month.
However, with another major hurricane approaching the region, Fortis officials opted to evacuate the employees as a safety precaution.
“Yesterday (Tuesday) was our crew’s last day on the ground until after Hurricane Maria passes through the region,” Nicole Bogdanovic, communications advisor at FortisBC, told the Trail Times in an email reply.
“As a safety precaution, (Wednesday) they will leave for Miami, Florida. This will also provide them with some much-needed rest and it will be their first break since they landed early last week. They expect to be back on Sunday and return to work on Monday, weather permitting.”
Bogdanovic said the FortisBC crew has restored power to the water treatment plant, the medical clinic, some customers in the downtown area and their hotel. They are also taking down compromised poles as a safety precaution to avoid these falling during the pending storm.
“It’s tough for the team to leave,” she added. “They understand how much the islands need electricity to support economic recovery and that restoring power to hotels and homes will help people will return to their normal lives.”
And more help from FortisBC may be on the way soon, said Bogdanovic.
“We are organizing a second crew to support the efforts. We expect a few days of overlap to make sure there is a smooth transition to the new crew. We will have an update on the new crew next week.”
Fortis’ has holdings in the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean. The Turks and Caicos is serviced by Fortis TCI, which is owned by Fortis Inc.