Officials: Puerto Rico will have power back soon

April 19 (UPI) — An island-wide power outage in Puerto Rico is expected to be corrected by early Thursday, a power authority executive said.

Most of the island’s 1.3 million residents have been without power since Wednesday, when an excavator operated by Cobra Energy struck a 230,000-volt transmission line.

The mishap caused a domino effect that shut down multiple power plants in succession, Justo Gonzales of the Electric Power Authority said. Substations were then unable to provide electricity to customers.

Gonzales said electrical service is slowly being restored, and service is expected to be normalized by noon Thursday.
Residents on the southern part of the island were most affected by the blackout, he added.

PREPA, Puerto Rico’s electricity agency, said Thursday more than 684,000 residents had already had power restored.

Wednesday’s outage came seven months after Hurricane Maria destroyed much of the island’s electrical infrastructure and forced the entire U.S. territory into darkness. It was the second in a week, demonstrating the still fragile nature of the grid.

A Major League baseball game went ahead as planned Wednesday night in San Juan, with backup electric systems and mobile lights.