Blackout hits Puerto Rico as power company reached goal

FILE - In this Oct. 19, 2017 file photo, a brigade from the Electric Power Authority repairs distribution lines damaged by Hurricane Maria in the Cantera community of San Juan, Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico's government scored a big win in court Monday, Nov. 13, 2017 after a judge rejected the appointment of a former military officer to oversee the U.S. territory's troubled power company. (AP Photo/Carlos Giusti, File)

Carlos Giusti

More than 160 private and public utility experts arrived in Puerto Rico Monday to assist power restoration efforts on the island. 

The electrical crews were deployed by the New York Power Authority, AVANGRID (the parent company of NYSEG and RG&E), Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp., Con Edison, National Grid and PSEG. In addition to the personnel, nearly 100 utility vehicles have been sent to Puerto Rico. 

The New York Power Authority's personnel includes its 28-member tactical power restoration team. The team's expertise is assessing damage to power grids. 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo also announced that an additional 220 utility workers and more than 180 vehicles and other equipment will be deployed to Puerto Rico later this week. 

The resources were requested by Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello, Cuomo's office said. 

According to status.pr, power has been restored to 48.70 percent of Puerto Rican businesses and residences. Nearly all of the island lost power after Hurricane Maria made landfall in late September. 

"New York is stepping up our efforts to provide personnel and assistance throughout the extensive recovery process underway in Puerto Rico," Cuomo said in a statement. "I am proud of the hundreds of New York's utility workers and engineers who are taking a hands on role in helping repair the power grid and providing much-needed storm recovery expertise." 

It's the third time the New York Power Authority has sent its experts to Puerto Rico. After the storm hit in September, the agency's experts assessed the damage at Puerto Rico's 360 electrical substations. 

Gil Quiniones, president and CEO of the New York Power Authority, highlighted his agency's experience with storm recovery and efforts to make power grids more resilient after natural disasters. 

"It is critical that we provide technical support to Puerto Rico at this key time in the rebuilding process of its power grid," he said. 

7
4
4
3
1