Almost 1 Million Puerto Ricans Still Without Power After Hurricane Fiona

By Rumi Samuel Published on September 23, 2022
Almost 1 Million Puerto Ricans Still Without Power After Hurricane Fiona

Five days after Hurricane Fiona made landfall in Puerto Rico, some 970,000 households and businesses remain without electricity -- nearly two-thirds of subscribers -- while more than 437,000 people don’t have running water, according to government data. 

Even so, over 800 MW of additional generation is expected to come online by Friday morning, which should allow officials to provide power to all the areas that were not directly impacted, Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority Executive Director Josue Colon said during a press conference Thursday.

Parts of southern and western Puerto Rico were hit hard by the category one storm, and recovery there could take weeks or months; relatively unscathed areas, including the capital, San Juan, have been struggling to emerge from the island-wide blackout that began Sunday.

As the outage has dragged on, 30% of the island’s cellphone towers have gone offline, the US Federal Communications Commission reported. 

Luma Energy, the island’s private grid operator, said it was too early to estimate how long it would take to restore power to the US commonwealth of around 3 million people.

Hurricane Fiona caused catastrophic flooding and was blamed for at least four deaths in Puerto Rico before it swept through the eastern Dominican Republic and Turks and Caicos. With sustained winds of 130 mph, Fiona is currently a category four storm and expected to head toward Bermuda on its way to northern Canada late Friday, the National Hurricane Center said.

The Biden Administration has issued a major disaster declaration for Puerto Rico.

Rumi Samuel

Rumi Samuel

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