APS to send more crews to help rebuilding efforts in Puerto Rico

PHOENIX - APS will send another crew to continue the rebuilding efforts in Puerto Rico.

The island was devastated in September 2017 after Hurricane Maria pummeled homes and knocked out power to the entire area. 

"When I told my mom, very proudly that my company was sending crews down to help, she said that makes me feel so grateful that people haven't forgotten us," said Jennie Vega, an APS worker who just returned from Puerto Rico.

Vega was unable to contact her family for almost a week after Hurricane Maria hit. She heard from her brother that everyone was okay, it was a sigh of relief. 

But her home was nearly demolished when hurricane winds tore off the roof. 

"It's inconceivable that what used to be our family living room is now just an open hole with broken walls. Everything is gone, all of our childhood memories, our pictures, our life is gone," said Vega. 

Vega, her sister who also lives in Arizona, and an APS co-worker traveled to Puerto Rico over the holidays to help install lights into the back room of her family's home, now covered with a tin roof. 

She told ABC15 the rest of the home still sits open to the daily rains. She says what's left is determination and pride to rebuild. 

Vega says in Puerto Rico there's a saying "Puerto Rico se levanter", which means "Puerto Rico is rising." 

"That means, not only did we trip and fall, but we got shoved down to the ground and they have the will and strength to overcome and to rebuild and rise up," explained Vega.

The APS worker takes pride in the fact that the company she's worked nearly 30 years for is now a part of helping her family and her community rebuild. 

"This takes it to the next level for me, this is personal. This is my family, my community, and they're in desperate need of help," said Vega.

This latest round of APS workers are scheduled to depart Wednesday January 17. 

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