Puerto Rico Experiences an Island-Wide Blackout: What You Need To Know

Attached Image Corey Kluber

Attached Image Corey Kluber

Most of Puerto Rico lost power Wednesday when a fix crew for a subcontractor for the island's electric power authority knocked down a transmission line connecting two power plants.

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. The origin stemmed from an excavator's connection with a power line that caused the major electrical blowout.

Macias said in an interview on Cheddar that the island's power outages affect Puerto Rico's most vulnerable residents the most.

Hospitals, banks and the San Juan airport were given priority ahead of homes and businesses for the restoration of power. The same company was responsible for last week's power outage-when a tree fell on a key power line-last week.

Puerto Rico's legislators are now debating whether to privatize the island's power authority, which is $14 in debt.

Tesla has been shipping Powerwalls and Powerpacks to the island of Puerto Rico since Hurricane Maria struck.

"This is too much", said Luis Oscar Rivera, a computer technician who just got normal power back at his house less than two months ago.

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Wednesday morning's blackout was the latest setback for the island of 3.4 million people that lost all power during Hurricane Maria in September.

"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. Long lines formed stations across the island, while authorities offered assurances that there was enough gasoline available.

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello announced on Twitter that he has called for PREPA to drop Cobra as a contractor. It was the second widespread failure in less than a week, underscoring just how fragile Puerto Rico's electricity remains since the storm hit.

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

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.

The United States Army Corps of Engineers has spent $2.1 billion on restoring power on the island, where 80 percent of the distribution lines were damaged during the hurricane.

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