Puerto Rico’s Power Restoration Slowed by Miles of Downed Lines

7 Oct 2017   Climate, USA

The view from a helicopter flying over an area of eastern Puerto Rico on Oct. 5, 2017 where the power grid was severely damaged. “It looks like dental floss laying across the trees,” Sgt. First Class Gregory Ganser of the New York Army National Guard, which operated the flight, said over the radio. The wreckage offered a glimpse of the monumental task Puerto Rico faces in rebuilding a power grid decimated by back-to-back hurricanes that knocked out electricity to the entire island. More than two weeks after Maria, only about 11% of customers have had electricity restored. Compounding the challenge are the antiquated conditions of the grid and the financial straits of the government-owned utility that runs it—the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, or Prepa, declared a form of bankruptcy in July. More than 85% of the grid was destroyed, and total damage from Maria is estimated at more […]

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