GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – After destructive storms ripped through California, Wisconsinites found a way to help those struggling from power outages.
Nearly 50 people from Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) and its sister company, We Energies, traveled to California to help get the lights back on for tens of thousands of people who lost power.
The WPS and We Energies crews are part of a mutual aid effort to help Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) address outages from storms, flooding, and mudslides.
The crews loaded their trucks and left Wisconsin on Saturday, January 7, 2023, and after traveling across the country, they are in California beginning restoration efforts in the central part of the state.
Amy Plato, an area manager for We Energies, is part of the group in California and says they expect to be working for around two weeks to restore power.
WPS and We Energies have a history of providing mutual aid during significant outage events. Back in 2018, the companies sent crews to Puerto Rico for two months to help rebuild the U.S. territory’s electric grid after the destruction caused by Hurricane Maria.
“The PG&E employees, they’re exhausted. We’re here to at least help them get some rest so we can take over and help them out. We have a good group here — we’re going to get some work done,” Plato added.
The WPS and We Energies workers are joining crews from across the country. Plato said the response from local residents has been incredible.
“People are excited that we’re here. They want to get back in power,” Plato said. “It’s just really amazing how we’re welcomed with open arms.”
For more information about Wisconsin Public Service, you can visit WPS’s website here.