Hurricane Maria brought the municipal services of 5 islands to a standstill. The entire power grid was destroyed, and the residents were left without the basic necessities. But, with intensive logistics efforts the services and lives were slowly restored.
In September 2017, Hurricanes Maria and Irma struck the Caribbean, devastating Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. The storms caused USD 90 billion in damage and at least 3000 deaths in Puerto Rico alone. The hurricane destroyed nearly the entire power grid in Puerto Rico and wiped out all municipal services and electricity in the five smaller islands of St. Thomas, St. John, St. Croix, Vieques and Culebra. 3.4 million of the islands’ residents were left without power and less than half had drinking water.
Our Special Projects Team got ready for the delivery of heavy, out-of-gauge hazardous cargo into the shallow harbours of the islands. Our team on the ground ran tests and surveyed the location to identify the draft that could be used in the different locations in order to bring vessels alongside.
Once the team placed a capable vessel on time charter, we modified the vessel’s stern to include a custom-made hydraulic vehicle ramp with a 100,000 lb load tolerance and enough length to let the vessel safely stand-off shallow piers and still allow us to successfully deliver the needed cargo
Life is slowly getting back on track
The vessel and our team were the primary lifeline for delivery of critical power supply support services and fuel for the five remaining islands on generator power. On a near daily basis, the vessel transported fuel, equipment, trailers, government engineers and maintenance personnel into and out of many ports in the Caribbean, that before our arrival were considered impossible to access for heavy cargo delivery.