Tuesday, 20 November, 2018

Puerto Rico back in darkness after island-wide blackout

Puerto Rico Experiences an Island-Wide Blackout: What You Need To Know Island-wide blackout hits Puerto Rico; officials probe cause
| 20 April, 2018, 01:47

The Puerto Rican Electric Power Authority said more than 1.1 million of its clients got their power back after Wednesday's blackout, which came nearly seven months after Hurricane Maria struck.

Speaking to reporters about Dgrimm, the company that caused the recent blackouts, PREPA deputy director Justo González said, "They will not work with us again", journalist Walter Soto León tweeted.PREPA said that restoring power could take 24 to 36 hours. This led to an electrical ground fault that caused the outage of the transmission circuit that caused the island-wide blackout.

"Tesla batteries are now live & delivering power at 662 locations in Puerto Rico", he tweeted.

Prior to the outage, more than 44,000 customers were still without normal electric service lost after the storm.

The outage snarled traffic across the island, interrupted classes and work, and forced dozens of businesses to temporarily close, including the largest mall and popular tourist attractions like a 16th century fort in the historic part of Puerto Rico's capital.

Some have been without electricity even longer as a result of Hurricane Irma, which brushed past Puerto Rico's northeast coast as a Category 5 storm on September 7 and left 1 million customers without power.

More than 41,000 customers have not had their power restored seven months after the Hurricane Maria. The restoration campaign has been plagued by political power struggles, rough terrain and logistical nightmares that have slowed and frustrated the populace and local leaders.


Last year, prior to Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico's retail consumers paid more for their power than consumers in any U.S. state except Hawaii, the EIA says.

Gonzalez said it is possible that only 1 to 2 percent of customers had power after the incident, as compared to 92.7 percent before the outage.

In response to the controversy, the government of Puerto Rico canceled the contract with Whitefish Energy Holdings on October 29, 2017.

Antonio Morales, a 93-year-old World War II veteran, rests in a single-story concrete home with no running water, in Corozal, Puerto Rico, March 13, 2018.

Backup generators roared to life at the island's largest public hospital and at its main worldwide airport, where officials reported no cancellations or delays.

One of them, university student Jonathan Rodriguez, 22, told the Associated Press: "I knew we'd be without power for some time, but not this long".

But the mayor said backup systems and mobile tower lights will allow Wednesday night's baseball game between the Cleveland Indians and Minnesota Twins to go on as planned at Hiram Bithorn Stadium.

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