Officials said it could take 24 to 36 hours to fully restore power to more than 1.4 million customers as outrage grew across the island about the state of Puerto Rico's Electric Power Authority. Workers had been removing a fallen tower when the machine got too close to an energized line and an electrical ground fault caused the outage, according to Mammoth Energy, Cobra's parent company.
The resulting electrical fault knocked out power to almost every home and business across the storm-battered American territory, authorities said, a catastrophic failure that could take up to 36 hours to restore. "This is the second power failure that has affected the people of Puerto Rico in less than two weeks".
An excavator operated by D. Grimm, a subcontractor for Cobra Acquisitions LLC, caused this week's blackout, according to the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA).
The Puerto Rican Electric Power Authority, known as PREPA, was working to restore power to the less than 30 percent of customers in the USA territory still without power after Wednesday morning's blackout.
"The outage snarled traffic across the island, interrupted classes and work, and forced dozens of businesses to temporarily close, including the largest mall and popular tourist attractions like a 16th Century fort in the historic part of Puerto Rico's capital", Coto wrote.
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Meanwhile, the remaining customers who lost power on Wednesday are expected to see their power restored later today, the utility company said.
Puerto Rico's power company said it had restored power to over 1.1 million homes and businesses by Thursday morning after a transmission line failure cut service to nearly all of the island's 3.4 million residents the day before.
A general view shows buildings after Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA), the island's power company, said Wednesday that a major power line failure in southern Puerto Rico cut electricity to nearly all customers, in San Juan, Puerto Rico April 18, 2018.
"Seven months after Maria, we are back where Maria left us", Cynthia Garcia Coll, a professor at Carlos Albizu University in San Juan, said via email.
Gonzalez said it is possible that only 1 to 2 percent of customers had power after the incident, as compared to 92.7 percent before the outage. The last outage, that occurred a week ago, affected 870,000 residents.
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Hours into the blackout, the lights came on at the Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan for a baseball game between the Minnesota Twins and Cleveland Indians.
It is the first island-wide power outage since the storm.
"If there's a slight storm, we're going to be worse off than we are right now", he said.
The U.S. Army's top engineer said in February that their role was never to completely rebuild the power system.
A blackout hit Puerto Rico this morning, knocking out power all over the island.
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