TECO crews ready to restore power in the Bahamas

Among the debris and utter devastation that Hurricane Dorian left behind in the Bahamas are the thousands of power lines downed, as the disaster roared in from the sea. 

"We don't have any power, no water, you just have to do what you have to do," said Lanell Andrews, one evacuee. 

"As soon as they get power back and water, I'll be back," said Senovia Rolle, who is also evacuating from Marsh Harbor. 

Volunteers, including a crew from Tampa, plan to get powered restored as soon as possible.

A dozen linemen from Tampa Electric arrived on Grand Bahamas Island Monday. TECO is a sister company to Grand Bahama Power Company; both are owned by Emera, out of Nova Scotia. The two first paired up in 2016 after Hurricane Matthew hit the Bahamas.

This time around, they plan to send more than 50 linemen.

"We have a second, larger group that is on their way to Ft. Lauderdale right now," said spokesperson Cherie Jacobs. "They're going to be on a boat first thing Tuesday, and they'll be in the Bahamas Tuesday afternoon."

Unlike previous hurricane recovery efforts, where fleets of trucks take to the highways, this time, they have to reach an island.

"It is a challenge to restore power on an island," Jacobs continued. "We have a big barge, and so the bucket trucks, and all of the equipment and the supplies for those teams, they're going over on a barge."

And the crews travel separately by ferry, ready for the long, hot days ahead.

"This is absolutely what these guys are living for, they are so willing to return those favors and help other utilities in times like this, when they need it the most," Jacobs said.

TECO doesn't know how long they'll be there, but right now, they expect it to be several weeks.