SRP Workers Helping Puerto Rico Are Better Prepared For Crisis

By Holliday Moore
Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 - 5:43pm

For the past six months, Salt River Project has sent waves of supervisors, linemen, engineers and designers to Puerto Rico to help restore power before a new hurricane strikes again.

Bret Marchese, who heads up distribution maintenance for Salt River Project, just returned from the island.

He said it’s sharpened his leadership skills to ask critical questions when coordinating necessary supplies.

A few questions off the top of his head that he now thinks about include, "How many poles are down?  How many poles do you need, but what size and what type do you need?"

In hurricane ravaged Puerto Rico, he found there were many more power poles above ground than in Arizona. So, it's important to ask seemingly simple questions about the poles being replaced.

Questions such as, "Do you need wood poles, concrete poles, how many transformers are down, and of what size transformers do you need?” Marchese said.

After spending the last 45 days restoring power to the island, he said it has made his team far better at assessing and handling anything Arizona monsoons will bring.