Puerto Rico hit by islandwide blackout again after hurricane

Tonya Becker
April 20, 2018

More than 1.4 million Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority's (PREPA) customers lost electrical power and by 8 p.m. Wednesday only 334,000 had regained power.

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.

"The areas that are wealthier, the areas that are more urban, had power restored much more quickly", said Kelly Macias, a staff writer at the Daily Kos. The agency blamed a fallen tree for an outage that cut power to 900,000 people last week. The cause of the blackout was due to a contractor who had been working to remove a collapsed tower when the bulldozer hit a power line.

Two main power plants, AES and Aguirre, immediately unplugged from the power system to protect their large generators after the transmission line was toppled.

The priority is to restore service to critical structures such as hospitals, the airport, water pumps and banks, according to the agency's Twitter account. The origin stemmed from an excavator's connection with a power line that caused the major electrical blowout. Local law enforcement mobilized traffic units to busy intersections across the island. Long lines formed stations across the island, while authorities offered assurances that there was enough gasoline available.

Solar power solutions become more of a desirable option following the destruction left by Hurricane Maria.

As of this afternoon, we're told there was zero percent power generation on the island. Declaring its mission almost complete, the corps had begun demobilizing the majority of the contractors on the island.

The Power Authority has been in bankruptcy since July with a debt of about $14 billion.

The latest blackout prompted Gov. Ricardo Rossello to call on PREPA to cancel its contract with the subcontractor. The island's legislature held public hearings this week. The power outage has become the world's second-biggest blackout following the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan, which struck the Philippines in 2013. We're trying to reach everyone and every day that goes without power for some people.

The outage did not stop the last of a two-game series between the Cleveland Indians and Minnesota Twins being played on the island.

M - After seven months and close to $2.5 billion, nearly everybody in hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico had their lights back on - until a freak accident on Wednesday plunged the entire island once again into darkness, NYTimesreported.

"Nothing will stop us", she tweeted.

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