Eye on the Tropics

Hurricane Fiona: More than 1M in Puerto Rico remain without power

PUERTO RICO — More than a million people remain in the dark in Puerto Rico on Monday night after Hurricane Fiona knocked out power island-wide Sunday night.

As of Monday, officials said more than 100,000 people’s power was restored.

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Channel 9 anchor Kirstin Delgado recently went to the island and spoke to those in charge of the electrical grid, to give insight into how it works and how the island can move forward.

Josue Colon, the executive director of Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, said PREPA and their private distributor, LUMA, are in a better position to respond to hurricanes now than they were five years ago for Hurricane Maria.

Read: Eye on the Tropics: Hurricane Fiona makes landfall along SW coast of Puerto Rico

“We have more equipment, more spare parts, more inventory in our warehouses and also on the warehouses of LUMA to respond to an emergency,” Colon said.

After Hurricane Maria, it was days before lifesaving resources made it to the island, but now Federal Disaster Recovery Coordinator Jose Baquero says that won’t be the case.

WATCH: ‘Hurricane Maria: Power & Perseverance’

“We have now about six or seven times the amount of supplies that we had prior to Maria,” Baquero said.

In response to outages caused by Fiona, LUMA, the company in charge of restoring power, put out a statement saying in part: “While power restoration has now occurred for more than 100,000 customers, LUMA crews continue to work to stabilize the grid. We will continue to work nonstop until every customer is restored and the entire grid is re-energized.”

Photos: Hurricane Fiona brings life-threatening floods, storm damage to Puerto Rico

In addition to power outages, some remote areas, such as Maricao, are also living without drinking water due to the storm. Maricao’s director of public works said 75% of the municipality’s population does not have drinking water.

The area is more than two hours from San Juan, and they fear how long they could be isolated, especially when they spent months in the dark after Hurricane Maria.

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Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.

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