“They are so grateful,” OG&E crews talk about restoring power in Puerto Rico

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OKLAHOMA CITY - After Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico in September, the island was devastated with flooding and strong winds.

Most of the island was left without basic services such as power and running water. Hospitals throughout the cash-strapped island of 3.4 million people were running low on medicine and fuel.

So far, the official death toll stands at 64 but the island’s governor is asking for an official review to determine if more deaths are associated with the storm.

For months, over 3 million people were left in the dark without electricity after the Category 4 hurricane destroyed the island's power grid.

In December, crews from an Oklahoma company announced that they would be making their way to the island to help restore power to the thousands of homes that were still living without electricity.

OG&E says 50 trucks were loaded onto a barge and traveled the 1,900 miles to Puerto Rico where a group of crew members began working to restore power to the island on Jan. 22.

Earlier this month, a second wave of crews headed to the island.

"They are doing good. They know they are making a difference here, and that helps," said Terry Garrett, with OG&E.

Crews have been working in the cities and up in the mountains of the island to restore power to those in need.

"They are so grateful. As you are trying to restore their power, they are just overwhelmed with joy. They can't believe we've come to help them. They are overwhelmed. Their attitude is just great. They cook us meals, they honk their horns when the lights come on, they have been without power for 140 days plus, so they are pretty excited," he said.

Garrett says that residents don't know much about Oklahoma, but they are familiar with our home team.

"There are some Thunder fans down here. They always talk about 'Westbrook, Oklahoma! Oklahoma! Westbrook!' I say, 'Yeah,' so we have some Thunder fans down here," he said.

The second crew will put in 22 straight days and be back with their families here in Oklahoma around March 1.