Entirety of Puerto Rico’s Private Power Grid Knocked Out Before Hurricane Hit

The entirety of Puerto Rico lost power on Sunday, leaving the island’s over 3 million people in the darkBefore the Category 1 Hurricane FionaThat was it forecasted to dumpMinimum of one foot and maximum of 30 inches of rain can fall on the island.

More than 1.4 million customers are tracked by Luma EnergyPuerto Rico’s power transmission and distribution company,, lost power. This includes places such as health centersMany people depend on electricity for survival in areas like. PowerOutage.us says that the vast majority (over 90%) of buildings and homes are unaffected by electricity. are still without powerOver 1.3 Million customers are currently blacked out as of Monday morning.

The hurricane which experts saylikely made worse by climate crisis. has now largely passedPuerto Rico was devastated by the storm, which left behind landslides, flooding, and other destruction. Puerto Rico Gov. Pedro Pierluisi called “catastrophic.” The storm also ripped the roofsThe group took down a bridge in Utuado, central Puerto Rico.

Large swathes of the island were also left without safe drinking waters after the storm. Officials have confirmed that at most one deathStorm-related damage has been limited to this point.

President Joe Biden declared a state of emergencyfor the island on Sunday, thereby freeing up Federal Emergency Management Agency funding and resources to coordinate an emergency response.

Luma saysThe blackout was caused by high-speed winds and other poor conditions. According to the company it could take several hours for power to be restored fully.

The storm hit five yearsHurricane Maria, the most destructive hurricane to hit the U.S. territory in history, also knocked out power on the island. The island’s now-privately owned power grid never recovered from that storm — the grid is now constantly plagued by power outages and brownouts, and residents as well as energy analysts note that electricity can be knocked out for hundreds of thousands of customers if there’s even a mild storm.

Maria’s devastation highlighted deep-rooted issues with the island’s electrical grid. It took nearly an entire year for power to be fully restored to the island’s customers — if it can be categorized as such with constant blackouts and brownouts. The government agency responsible for managing the electricity system was dealing withA shrinking workforce billions in debtAnd corruptionIt is a prestigious organization.

Luma was created by the hurricane to take overThe Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) is responsible for the transmission and distribution on the island of power. Its goal is to revitalize the grid and make it more reliable. But experts noted when officials drew up plans for the transfer in 2018 that privatization would not help heal the island’s grid — and, as previous privatization schemes for water utilities on the island showed, it could make the situation worse.

Some are indeed. Puerto Ricans say thatLuma took over grid management last January, and blackouts and brownouts remain unchanged or worsened. Customers are not affected. are now payingThey will now pay twice as much electricity as they did before the takeover. These reliability issues also come as the island’s grid is almost entirelyFossil fuel sources are not only contributing to the climate problem, but also significantly increasing its use. driving prices upAccording to one analysisInstitute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis.

Thousands more are available. of unionized workersPREPA employees were fired or transferred to another department when Luma took control. Many were offered jobs with Luma but declined as they were not qualified. lost benefitsAccording to the union, like pensions.

These are the reasons Puerto Ricans have been able to thrive. waged protestsLuma’s request to the government to end its contract for the company was rejected