11 Months After Maria, Power Restored in Puerto Rico

But outages are still frequent
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 15, 2018 6:55 PM CDT
11 Months After Maria, Power Restored in Puerto Rico
A worker from the Cobra Energy Company, contracted by the Army Corps of Engineers, installs power lines in the Barrio Martorel area of Yabucoa, Puerto Rico.   (AP Photo/Carlos Giusti, File)

Power has been restored to all of Puerto Rico for the first time since Hurricane Maria struck nearly 11 months ago, the AP reports. The island's electric utility announced that crews working in the southern city of Ponce reconnected the last neighborhood that had been offline since the Sept. 20 storm knocked out the U.S. territory's power grid. Ponce resident Charlie Colon Nazario tells El Nuevo Dia that he was looking forward to no longer having to use a generator to light his house. "No more lamps, no more candles, no more extension cords," he says.

The Ponce neighborhood was the last to be reconnected to the grid because landslides and rough terrain made it difficult for crews from the electrical authority or contractors to reach the area to make repairs, an official says. Utility crews used a helicopter to replace wooden power poles knocked down in the storm with steel ones that officials hope will do a better job staying up during future storms. Power company spokesman Gerardo Quinones said that some individual homes around Puerto Rico may still be without power because of repairs residents need to make and that the island of Vieques continues to rely on generators. The island-wide outage was the longest continuous blackout in U.S. history. Repair crews are still working to make upgrades and outages are regular occurrences.

(Read more Puerto Rico stories.)

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