News That Matters

Some 349,000 Still Without Power in Puerto Rico After Fiona


NEW YORK (Reuters) – An estimated 349,000 homes and businesses were still without power in Puerto Rico on Wednesday after Hurricane Fiona hit on Sept. 18, causing an island-wide power outage for its 3.3 million people.

After hitting Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, Hurricane Fiona turned north and slammed into eastern Canada on Sept. 24, leaving over a third of Nova Scotia without power.

Nova Scotia Power, a unit of Canadian energy company Emera Inc, said about 104,000 customers were still without power early Wednesday.

Fiona hit Puerto Rico about five years after Hurricane Maria knocked out all power on the island.

PowerOutage.us, which estimates outages based on utility data, said 349,000 customers were without service on Wednesday based on information from LUMA Energy, which operates Puerto Rico’s grid.

There were about 503,000 customers without power on Tuesday out of 1.468 million total customers.

That pace of restoration is much faster than after Maria – when almost all 1.5 million customers had no power for a week. At that time the now bankrupt Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) was still operating the grid.

It took PREPA about 11 months to restore power to all customers, but Maria was a much more powerful storm than Fiona.

Maria hit Puerto Rico in 2017 as a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 155 miles (249 kilometers) per hour (mph), while Fiona hit as a Category 1 storm with winds of 85 mph.

LUMA Energy said it restored service to 1.141 million customers by early Wednesday and expects to have 77%-91% of customers restored by Friday if there is sufficient generation available from PREPA and other private generators.

LUMA is a joint venture owned by units of Canadian energy firm ATCO Ltd (50%) and U.S. energy contractor Quanta Services Inc (50%).

(Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Angus MacSwan and Louise Heavens)

Copyright 2022 Thomson Reuters.



Source link