Power has been restored to over 1.3 million customers in Puerto Rico amid massive outage – Connect FM | Local news radio
(NEW YORK) – Power was restored to 1.3 million customers in Puerto Rico on Saturday afternoon, after a massive outage left entire neighborhoods without power, according to LUMA Energy, the company that took over transmission. and distribution of the island’s electrical authority.
About 200,000 customers still have no power, LUMA said.
LUMA said it would continue to work to restore power throughout Puerto Rico and asked customers to conserve energy use on Saturday “to help reduce energy demand and support the restoration process until that more generation is online”.
Brownouts were reported on Saturday as power slowly returned.
LUMA earlier warned that “although electrical service to parts of the island has been restored, some areas may experience temporary loss of power for brief periods as we work to balance generation and stabilize the power grid.” .
The power outage came after a fire broke out at one of the island’s four main power stations. The exact cause of the service disruption is under investigation, LUMA said.
“The extent of the outage has impacted every production facility in Puerto Rico and a major effort to restore service is underway,” LUMA said in a statement.
It will be weeks before officials find out what caused the fire that knocked out power in Puerto Rico, the head of the island’s power company told ABC News.
LUMA Energy CEO Wayne Stensby joined ABC News Live and described the power grid as being “in dramatically worse shape than any power system that people in the continental United States” would be served by.
Stensby said some of the same emergency response teams that were in place before hurricane season are working to restore power to customers who are still in the dark.
Given the scale of the outage, the government and power company said there was no timeline for a full restoration.
“We continue to make progress on the restoration, but due to extensive damage to the Costa Sur substation, we are unable to provide a full restoration estimate at this time,” LUMA said.
Public schools were closed to students on Thursday and Friday due to the blackout, according to island governor Pedro Pierluisi.
About 100,000 customers were also without water on Thursday due to the power outage, according to the president of the Aqueducts and Sewers Authority, Doriel Pagán Crespo.
The outage also affected some junctions by shutting down traffic lights, officials warned.
Only essential staff are being summoned to central government agencies on Friday, Pierluisi said, in another tweet.
Addressing the upcoming hurricane season, Josue Colon, executive director of the power company, said the power grid still needs to be rebuilt and it would not be responsible for them to say the island’s grid could withstand to a hurricane like the Category 5 Maria of 2017. .
ABC News’ Joshua Hoyos and Ivan Pereira contributed to this report.
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