WTVM Editorial 1/30/18: Hope for Puerto Rico

(WTVM) - Our lives were barely touched by Hurricane Maria in September – some strong winds and rain but nothing more.

However, in Puerto Rico, Maria was a catastrophe, especially for the power grid on that island.

Coming to the rescue now are crews from Alabama Power, Georgia Power, and Mississippi Power.

They left Birmingham 10 days ago and will stay at least a month and a half in Puerto Rico where still 3.4 million people have no power.

We applaud the efforts of our local linemen and power experts in tackling this massive infrastructure problem caused by years of neglect and lack of maintenance.

Puerto Rico was a sitting duck for the next big hurricane – and Maria was it.

Among the challenges facing our local power crews on that island: outdated equipment, the heavy loss of transmission towers and the need to replace many of the high voltage power lines.

All this, plus the crippling debt of from mismanagement of the power authority and it's easy to think our local crews may not accomplish much with so many obstacles in their way.

But we believe the local power crews will make a difference and we applaud the concern for the people of Puerto Rico shown by The Southern Company, the parent company of Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi Power.

Big corporations are easy targets for critics who like to accuse them of lacking compassion, but The Southern Company is proving its humanity by being invested in giving some real hope to the people of Puerto Rico. And while it's hard to measure the value of hope, that may actually be the best contribution the power crews can make.

Once the residents of Puerto Rico feel there is some positive momentum on their side, the very long wait for normalcy will be just a little bit easier to take.

General Manager Holly Steuart brings two editorials a week to WTVM. If you would like to respond to an editorial, e-mail your response to hsteuart@wtvm.com or write to:

WTVM Editorial Committee

1909 Wynnton Road

Columbus, GA 31906

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