Blackout Hits Puerto Rico as Power Company Reached Goal - NBC Southern California
Puerto Rico Recovers After Maria

Puerto Rico Recovers After Maria

Complete coverage of relief and recovery efforts in Puerto Rico, following Hurricane Maria

Blackout Hits Puerto Rico as Power Company Reached Goal

The blackout affected the capital of San Juan and nearby cities and towns along the island's north coast

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Military Efforts to Get Puerto Rico Back on the Grid

    Military members are working to restore power to victims of Hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico. Ray Villeda reports. (Published Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017)

    A major blackout hit Puerto Rico's most populated region Wednesday just as the government announced it had met its goal of 50 percent power generation nearly two months after Hurricane Maria struck as a Category 4 storm.

    The Electric Power Authority said it dispatched crews to investigate why a key 230-kilovolt line that connects the island's northern and southern regions had failed for the second time in a week. The failure caused the U.S. territory's power generation to drop to 22 percent, though it had improved slightly to 29 percent by early evening.

    The blackout affected the capital of San Juan and nearby cities and towns along the island's north coast, provoking a groan from people who were celebrating the return of electricity in recent weeks by restocking refrigerators and charging phones and computers.

    A previous blackout involving the same line occurred Nov. 8, causing power generation to drop to 18 percent.

    Avalanche Buries Unknown Number of People in NM

    [NATL] Avalanche Buries Unknown Number of People in NM

    Ski Patrol and first responders are working to rescue an unknown number of skiers buried in an avalanche at Taos Ski Resort in New Mexico

    (Published Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019)

    On social media, some Puerto Ricans wondered whether the blackout was caused by the government's rush to meet its goals to restore power. Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello has pledged 80 percent power generation by the end of November and 95 percent power generation by Dec. 15, while the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has said it expects 75 percent power generation by the end of January.

    Susan Tierney, a senior adviser for Denver-based consulting company Analysis Group who testified last month before a U.S. Senate committee on efforts to restore power, said blackouts are likely to occur if a power company is having problems matching supply and demand.

    "Something has to give," she said in a phone interview, adding that she is surprised at how slowly power is being restored across Puerto Rico. "It's extraordinary to have an outage that has extended this deeply and for so long after an event."

    More than 130,000 people have fled the island since the hurricane, with many seeking jobs and shelter on the U.S. mainland.

    Prior to Wednesday's blackout, Puerto Rico's power company said 21 municipalities still had no power at all, while portions of Puerto Rico's 57 other municipalities had seen electricity restored.

    The island's power outage is the worst in U.S. history.

    Iowa Man Gets "Jackpot Treatment" for $1 Lotto Ticket Win

    [NATL] Iowa Man Gets "Jackpot Treatment" for $1 Lotto Ticket Win

    An Iowa man got the "Jackpot treatment" after winning $1 off a scratch-off lotto ticket. Tyler Heep decided to cash in the winning ticket at the Iowa Lottery Headquarters and was presented with a big check for his win. Heep spent his winnings on a gallon of gas.

    (Published Friday, Jan. 18, 2019)