Credit: Carrie Cochran/The Enquirer via USA TODAY NETWORK

Power Mostly Restored Following Island-Wide Blackout In Puerto Rico

April 19, 2018 - 11:07 am

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (1010 WINS/AP) -- Puerto Rico's power company says it has restored electricity to more than 80 percent of customers affected by an island-wide blackout that was caused by an excavator hitting a transmission line.

Officials said Thursday that more than 1.1 million of its clients now have power. Prior to Wednesday's blackout on the U.S. territory of 3.3 million people, more than 44,000 customers were still without normal electric service nearly seven months after Hurricane Maria.
The Electric Power Authority said it expects to restore power to the remaining 326,000 customers by noon Thursday. The outage snarled traffic, forced businesses and schools to close and sparked long lines at gas stations.
It was the first time Puerto Rico was hit by an island-wide blackout since the Category 4 storm struck on Sept. 20.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he plans to return to Puerto Rico on April 29. He called the federal response to the situation 'inadequate.'