Excavator Blamed For Island-wide Blackout In Puerto Rico

20 April, 2018, 01:50 | Author: Norman Carr
  • 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

Puerto Rico received another blow Wednesday when a blackout hit the entire island leaving millions in the dark once again.

Power was restored to more than 1.1 million Puerto Ricans after an island-wide blackout plagued the US territory Wednesday.

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

In response to the criticism of its work, Cobra Acquisitions said it will continue to work "around the clock" with PREPA and residents of Puerto Rico to fix the entire infrastructure system that could "prevent outages such as this one from affecting the entire population on the island".

PREPA's interim director, Justo González, said Wednesday that Cobra Energy, a USA private contractor, hit the transmission line with a crane, causing multiple power plants to shut down in quick succession.

Hospitals, banks and the San Juan airport were given priority ahead of homes and businesses for the restoration of 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.

In response to the controversy, the government of Puerto Rico canceled the contract with Whitefish Energy Holdings on October 29, 2017. Rosselló is pushing a bill to privatize the power system.

"This is the second power failure that has affected the people of Puerto Rico in less than a week", Rossello said.


Jorge Bracero, an engineer with the power authority known for his impromptu social media reports on the status of the island's power grid, has urged caution and patience from the community as they restore the system.

People wait to enter Hiram Bithorn Stadium for the final game of a two-game Mayor League Baseball series between the Minnesota Twins and the Cleveland Indians in San Juan, Puerto Rico, April 18, 2018.

Angel Figueroa, president of the power workers' union, told reporters that workers were investigating why a backup breaker at a main power station in the island's southern region did not function when the outage occurred, causing the entire electrical grid to shut down to protect itself.

The new blackout occurred as Puerto Rico legislators debate a bill that would privatize the island's power company, which is $14 billion in debt and relies on infrastructure almost three times older than the industry average.

"If there's a slight storm, we're going to be worse off than we are right now", he said. He said Tesla already did similar work on smaller islands.



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