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    One million people are still without electricity in Puerto Rico after Fiona's passage


    September 22, 2022 - CE Noticias Financieras

     

      NEW YORK, Sep 22 (Reuters) - An estimated 1 million homes and businesses were still without power in Puerto Rico on Thursday morning after Hurricane Fiona passed over the island on Sunday, causing a territory-wide power outage to its roughly 3.3 million residents.

      Hurricane Fiona is now headed toward Bermuda and then eastern Canada as a major hurricane with winds of up to 130 miles per hour (215 kilometers per hour). The storm has killed at least eight people.

      Fiona arrived in Puerto Rico five years after Hurricane Maria knocked out power on the island in 2017.

      Poweroutages.com, which estimates power outages based on utility data, said 1.033 million customers were without service early Thursday based on what it called limited information available from LUMA Energy, which operates the Puerto Rico grid.

      According to Poweroutages.com, there were approximately 1.168 million customers without power early Wednesday, out of a total of 1.468 million.

      This rate of restoration is much faster than after Maria, when nearly all 1.5 million customers were without power for a week when the now-bankrupt Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) still operated the grid.

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

      Maria arrived in Puerto Rico as a Category 4 hurricane with 155 mph winds, while Fiona arrived as a Category 1 storm with 85 mph winds.

      LUMA Energy said late Wednesday that it had restored service to nearly 376,000 customers. LUMA has said "full restoration could take several days."

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

      PREPA continues to own much of Puerto Rico's electrical infrastructure. LUMA was awarded a contract to operate the grid in 2020 and began managing that system in 2021.

      (Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Edited in Spanish by Ricardo Figueroa)

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