CLOSINGS: View Closings

Most of Puerto Rico still without power

Puerto Rico has suffered an island-wide power outage, its power authority said Wednesday -- nearly s...

Posted: Apr 19, 2018 12:54 PM
Updated: Apr 19, 2018 12:54 PM

Puerto Rico has suffered an island-wide power outage, its power authority said Wednesday -- nearly seven months after Hurricane Maria destroyed much of the island's infrastructure and its electrical grid.

An excavator operated by Cobra Acquisitions, a contractor, apparently caused the blackout, which originated at a major transmission line running between Salinas to Guayama in the southeast, according to the authority.

Mammoth Energy, parent company of the contractor, said workers were removing a fallen tower when the machine got too close to an energized line and an electrical ground fault caused the outage.

Gov. Ricardo Rossello said in a tweet that he has suggested Puerto Rico's Electric Power Authority cancel its contract with Cobra Acquisitions.

Power was to be restored within 24 to 36 hours, the authority said.

By Wednesday afternoon, service had been restored in at least seven municipalities, five hospitals and at San Juan's airport. About 51,000 customers, out of 1.4 million, had power.

The utility said its priority was to bring back service to medical facilities, water pumping systems and financial institutions.

Video and photos posted on social media showed rapid transit line workers helping down passengers from stalled trains and college students registering for classes during the blackout. Long lines of cars formed at gas stations and a fire broke out in an electrical generator behind a restaurant in the Condado tourist district.

"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.

Rafael Santiago, an engineer at a plant that makes prosthetic devices, said via Twitter that he and other workers were evacuated after being locked inside for about 20 minutes while electric generators were started.

The massive outage comes less than a week after a fallen tree knocked out service to 870,000 customers, about half the power authority's clients, across a broad swath of the US territory.

At the time, the authority said a major transmission line was damaged while contractors were clearing vegetation.

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz, a frequent critic of recovery efforts since the September hurricane, tweeted Wednesday: "The entire electrical system in Puerto Rico collapses AGAIN! Back to September 20th."

But the mayor said backup systems and mobile tower lights allowed Wednesday night's baseball game between the Cleveland Indians and Minnesota Twins to go on as planned at Hiram Bithorn Stadium.

"Nothing will stop us," she tweeted.

Puerto Rico, home to more than 3 million US citizens, has grappled with widespread power outages for months since Hurricane Maria devastated the Caribbean island.

Puerto Rico's power outage is now the second-largest blackout in history

Puerto Rico has lost 3.4 billion customer-hours of electricity service due to Maria, according to an analysis released last week by the economic data analytics and policy firm Rhodium Group.

It's the largest blackout in US history (in terms of customer hours) and the second largest in the world -- after the outage caused when Typhoon Haiyan tore through the Philippines in 2013, killing more than 6,000 people.

Puerto Rico's power authority faced widespread criticism late last 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.

The utility canceled the contract amid public outcry, and its executive director stepped down in November.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 726600

Reported Deaths: 13379
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion992781737
Lake53359964
Allen40387675
St. Joseph35449550
Hamilton35440408
Elkhart28376439
Tippecanoe22336217
Vanderburgh22271396
Porter18637306
Johnson17876377
Hendricks17154314
Clark12919191
Madison12574339
Vigo12426245
Monroe11845169
LaPorte11773210
Delaware10615185
Howard9859215
Kosciusko9366117
Hancock8239140
Bartholomew8042155
Warrick7766155
Floyd7645177
Grant7019174
Wayne7018199
Boone6669101
Morgan6547139
Dubois6148117
Marshall6000111
Dearborn578577
Cass5780105
Henry5681102
Noble558283
Jackson500472
Shelby489496
Lawrence4492120
Gibson434391
Harrison434271
Clinton426853
DeKalb425284
Montgomery423388
Whitley394439
Huntington387480
Steuben382957
Miami380266
Knox371890
Jasper362747
Putnam358560
Wabash353178
Adams340654
Ripley338970
Jefferson328881
White312854
Daviess295899
Wells290481
Decatur283592
Fayette278662
Greene276685
Posey270933
LaGrange264770
Scott264753
Clay259245
Randolph239781
Washington239532
Spencer231331
Jennings229248
Starke214452
Fountain211946
Sullivan211042
Owen197056
Fulton194640
Jay191830
Carroll188120
Perry182637
Orange182454
Rush172925
Vermillion168343
Franklin167735
Tipton162345
Parke145916
Blackford134532
Pike133034
Pulaski116045
Newton107034
Brown101541
Crawford99114
Benton98414
Martin87815
Warren81415
Switzerland7848
Union70710
Ohio56211
Unassigned0413

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1080121

Reported Deaths: 19344
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1254981392
Cuyahoga1115202107
Hamilton798171200
Montgomery512711012
Summit46997933
Lucas41982782
Butler38273580
Stark32190907
Lorain24910480
Warren24249297
Mahoning21474586
Lake20586368
Clermont19727238
Delaware18496131
Licking16396210
Fairfield16144199
Trumbull15996466
Medina15233262
Greene15027244
Clark13960297
Wood13056188
Portage12806201
Allen11609231
Richland11308198
Miami10659215
Muskingum8795132
Wayne8777210
Columbiana8756229
Pickaway8547121
Marion8511135
Tuscarawas8467243
Erie7859154
Hancock6900126
Ross6835152
Ashtabula6777169
Geauga6665148
Scioto6398101
Belmont5856167
Union570047
Lawrence5542102
Jefferson5511151
Huron5422119
Darke5344122
Sandusky5330120
Seneca5268121
Athens518258
Washington5148109
Auglaize488484
Mercer480185
Shelby468593
Knox4479110
Madison435461
Putnam4268100
Ashland421289
Fulton420969
Defiance418997
Crawford3965106
Brown392957
Logan381176
Preble379098
Clinton370561
Ottawa366279
Highland353861
Williams338075
Champaign330458
Guernsey315453
Jackson312051
Perry294550
Morrow283839
Fayette281449
Hardin270364
Henry268166
Coshocton264258
Holmes2590101
Van Wert242863
Pike237433
Adams237052
Gallia235048
Wyandot230654
Hocking215162
Carroll191247
Paulding172440
Meigs144639
Noble133337
Monroe131942
Morgan108323
Harrison107537
Vinton82415
Unassigned02
Fort Wayne
Cloudy
41° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 41°
Angola
Cloudy
39° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 39°
Huntington
Clear
46° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 46°
Decatur
Cloudy
41° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 41°
Van Wert
Cloudy
45° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 40°
We'll start Friday off dry, but the chance of rain returns. Scattered showers will be possible by late morning until the evening.
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events