Saturday, March 2, 2024

Another power outage in Puerto Rico hours after it was announced that it was finally restored

Hours after Puerto Rico officials announced that power had finally been restored to almost all of the island’s residents, a year after Hurricane Maria, a new problem with the power grid plunged thousands of people into the dark once again.

Puerto Rico’s electric provider tweeted Monday that just 0.002 percent of its nearly 1.4 million customers (some 25 people) remained without electricity, marking a significant milestone in what’s been a long and challenging post-Maria recovery journey. Carlos Mercader, executive director of the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration, told the Hill that he expected the remaining 25 customers to “receive electricity within the coming weeks.”

On Monday afternoon, however, hours after the utility’s tweet, a large power outage was reported on the island. Local newspaper Caribbean Business reported that some 130,000 residents were left without electricity following the failure of a transmission line originating in the Costa Sur power complex in Guayanilla.

CBS News reporter David Begnaud said Tuesday that power had been restored to the affected areas. Customers had been without power for under two hours, he said.  “As of now, [the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) says only 25 customers still don’t have [power]. On a side note, blackouts happen almost daily,” he wrote on Monday.

Intermittent power has been a huge problem for Puerto Rico residents since Maria. In April, the entire island lost power in what’s been described as the second-largest blackout in history. The sluggish pace of power restoration in Puerto Rico has been blamed for many post-Maria deaths.