Puerto Rico Hit With Another Island Wide Blackout

Puerto Rico Hit With Another Island Wide Blackout

"It's like the first day of Maria all over again".

Puerto Rico was left without grid power on Wednesday after a line fault tripped two of the island's main power plants offline. It snarled traffic across the island, interrupted classes and work and forced dozens of businesses to temporarily close, including the island's largest mall and popular tourist attractions like a 16th-century fort in the historic part of Puerto Rico's capital.

This incident was marked as the "second-largest blackout", CNN reports.

The utility said its priority was to restore service to hospitals, San Juan's airport, water pumping systems and banks.

The islands of Culebra and Vieques, located to the east of Puerto Rico, retained power throughout the Wednesday outage, Camacho said.

The mayor said emergency systems at Hiram Bithorn Stadium are "fully functional", and tower lights will be used for the game.

In a statement Thursday evening, PREPA executive Justo Gonzalez Torres said a major transmission line was damaged while contractors were clearing vegetation. A backup line that was supposed to prevent that outage failed.

Power company spokeswoman Yohari Molina told The Associated Press that crews were investigating what caused the blackout, saying she had no other details.

"That is not normal", he said.

Rivera said he worries that such serious power outages are still occurring as the new Atlantic hurricane season, which starts on June 1, approaches.

"If there's a slight storm, we're going to be worse off than we are right now", he said. The agency blamed a fallen tree for an outage that cut power to 900,000 people last week. Full restoration of power could take between seven and 11 hours.

The power outage comes two days after PREPA published an online video celebrating the restoration of electric service to 97 percent of their customers.

Puerto Rico's power authority faced widespread criticism late previous year for signing a $300 million contract to restore power with Whitefish Energy Holdings, a small Montana-based firm with only two employees at the time.

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