undergroundnewsroom.com May 27, 2018

Power restored to 1 million in Puerto Rico after total blackout

20 April 2018, 01:07 | Rodolfo Quinn

Island-wide blackout hits Puerto Rico; officials probe cause

Cleveland shortstop Francisco Lindor visits his former grammar school Villa Marina Elementary School in Gurabo Puerto Rico on Monday. Cleveland and Minnesota are playing two games at Hiram Bithorn Stadium

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.

Electricity has been restored to more than 80 percent of customers affected by an outage that plunged the entire island of Puerto Rico into darkness after an excavator struck a transmission line, officials said Thursday.

Hurricane Maria destroyed Puerto Rico's power grid when it hit the island last September.

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.

The power authority said heavy equipment workers triggered the outage when the fallen tower they were removing got too close to a high-power transmission line. Since the hurricane tore from the island's southeast corner though the central mountains and out the northwest coast six months ago, several communities near Cayey remain without power.

A general view shows a street after a major power line failure in southern Puerto Rico cut electricity to nearly all customers, in San Juan, Puerto Rico on April 18. "Visitors that travel to Puerto Rico should not be concerned about their travel plans being affected", the statement adds. "One of the best ways people can support Puerto Rico is by visiting - staying at hotels, eating at restaurants, enjoying our Island's activities, and buying from local businesses".

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Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello announced on Twitter that he has called for PREPA to drop Cobra as a contractor.

"This is all very worrisome, obviously, as we approach another hurricane season", said Cathy Kunkel, an energy analyst with the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis.

The blackout comes as Puerto Rico legislators debate whether to private the island's Electric Power Authority, which is $14 billion in debt and relies on infrastructure almost three times older than the industry average.

But there were also reasons to be concerned about Cobra Acquisitions winning the contract: The creation of Cobra Acquisitions was Mammoth Energy's first foray into the utility sector, The Intercept reported last October.

In the process, the subcontractor, D. Grimm, used an excavator to remove the structure. He said the union is investigating why a breaker at a main power station in the island's southern region did not function when the outage occurred. Travelers to the island should not be concerned with the latest outage, said officials, as virtually all of the island's major hotels and attractions maintain generators to ensure operations during outages.

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