PALMETTO (FOX 13) - The Florida Power and Light Company is sending 140 workers to Puerto Rico this month to help restore power.
Nearly four months after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, half of the island is still without power, affecting more than 600,000 residents.
Crews are working to rebuild the power grid, but severe damage is making it difficult.
"It's a lot of power lines down, a lot of tree issues, trees on the lines," explained Leonardo Rojas, an associate engineer for Florida Power and Light (FPL).
Some of the FPL workers who volunteered to leave from Palmetto to Puerto Rican are Puerto Ricans themselves and have family still living on the island.
Rojas said he has close friends who haven't left since the storm.
"I have a lot of friends there. Friends that I consider family," said Rojas.
He said as a Latin American Spanish-speaker, he hopes he will be able to better connect and communicate with the residents of Puerto Rico during the weeks, possibly months, that he is there working.
"There's a special connection. I know what the people are going through there. It just hits home really close," said Rojas.
FPL has already shipped over its equipment. The 140-person crew is expected to leave in about a week, joining a 10-person team already there.
The Army Corps of Engineers has projected that power will be restored for most people by March, but those in rural areas might have to wait until May.