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Power restored to 70 percent of Puerto Rico customers after total blackout

20 April 2018

Some 40,000 power customers still remain without normal electrical service as a result of the hurricane.

Mammoth Energy, the parent company of Cobra, said in a statement to ABC News "Cobra is dedicated to the hard work that lies ahead and continues to work around-the-clock with PREPA and the citizens of Puerto Rico to fix the entire infrastructure system to prevent outages such as this one from affecting the entire population on the island". By late in the afternoon, power had returned to several hospitals and at least five of the island's 78 municipalities. Rosselló is pushing a bill to privatize the power system.

An island-wide power outage in Puerto Rico is expected to be corrected by early Thursday, a power authority executive said.

Most of Puerto Rico lost power Wednesday when a fix crew for a subcontractor for the island's electric power authority knocked down a transmission line connecting two power plants.

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Two main power plants, AES and Aguirre, immediately unplugged from the power system to protect their large generators after the transmission line was toppled. More than 41,000 customers have not had their power restored seven months after the Hurricane Maria.

"This is unacceptable", Gonzalez said.

It's the first time since Category 4 storm hit on September 20 that Puerto Rico has experienced a full island-wide blackout.

The islandwide outage caused chaos in the streets.

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This incident was marked as the "second-largest blackout", CNN reports. "The grid is so fragile and they're just barely able to get the lights back on".

Antonio Morales, a 93-year-old World War II veteran, rests in a single-story concrete home with no running water, in Corozal, Puerto Rico, March 13, 2018.

In March, six months since Hurricane Maria walloped the island, Gov. Rossello said that the electrical grid being put up now will be weaker than the grid that existed before the storm, adding that it could take almost five years for a stronger grid to be built. Meanwhile, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which is overseeing the federal power restoration efforts, said they hope to have the entire island fully energized by May. Declaring its mission almost complete, the corps had begun demobilizing the majority of the contractors on the island. The three main plans were approved Thursday, almost a year after the U.S. territory filed for what is the largest municipal bankruptcy ever in the U.S. Four more plans remained to be voted on Friday.

"I have suggested to the Board of @AEEONLINE that they cancel the contract with the Cobra subcontractor that is directly responsible for this power outage", Rossello tweeted.

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Power restored to 70 percent of Puerto Rico customers after total blackout