DTE Energy aiding power restoration effort on Puerto Rico

FILE - In this Oct. 19, 2017 file photo, a brigade from the Electric Power Authority repairs distribution lines damaged by Hurricane Maria in the Cantera community of San Juan, Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico's government scored a big win in court Monday, Nov. 13, 2017 after a judge rejected the appointment of a former military officer to oversee the U.S. territory's troubled power company. (AP Photo/Carlos Giusti, File)

DETROIT (AP) – DTE Energy Co. is sending about 80 workers to Puerto Rico to help restore power after Hurricane Maria.

The Detroit-based utility sent its trucks Tuesday to Norfolk, Virginia, where they will be loaded onto a barge for shipment to the U.S. island. The overall crew consists of about 50 linemen and 30 additional people, including mechanics, damage assessors and engineers.

Many areas of the island still lack power more than three months after the hurricane. Maria destroyed the island’s electrical grid. Roughly half of its 3.3 million people remain without power.

DTE is one of 18 U.S. energy companies assisting Puerto Rico as part of a mutual aid agreement.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says full electricity likely won’t be returned to the island until May.

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