Puerto Rico Endures Country-Wide Blackout

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M - After seven months and close to $2.5 billion, nearly everybody in hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico had their lights back on - until a freak accident on Wednesday plunged the entire island once again into darkness, NYTimesreported.

The island has really been hit with a one-two punch since just last week, when a tree fell on another power line - leaving 840,000 people without power.

Millions of residents in Puerto Rico are trying to adapt to what they are calling "the new normal", as the second islandwide blackout in a week left more than 1.3 million customers without electricity and reliable communications Wednesday.

"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. He said Tesla already did similar work on smaller islands.

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 equipment was being operated by a subcontractor for Cobra Acquisitions.

Macias added that private companies have stepped in to help with Puerto Rico's recovery.

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Puerto Rico's legislators are now debating whether to privatize the island's power authority, which is $14 in debt.

"This is all very worrisome, obviously, as we approach another hurricane season", said Cathy Kunkel, an energy analyst with the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. "The grid is so fragile and they're just barely able to get the lights back on".

Puerto Rico's decision to award a no-bid $300 million contact to the two-person Whitefish Energy Holdings LLC to conduct fix work to the island's electric grid set off alarm bells in Washington as calls for investigations into the deal intensified among both Democrats and Republicans.

Given the criticism of the Whitefish Energy Holdings contract at the time, Mammoth Energy Services tried to highlight how the contract signed by its affiliate was negotiated much differently. "We've been told by Cobra that the company will be decommissioned effective immediately".

"The entire electrical system in Puerto Rico collapses AGAIN!" On Wednesday, an excavator used by the contractor hit a transmission line near the south coast. While removing the fallen tower, the excavator got too close to the fallen tower that created a current between the energized transmission line and the excavator.

In recent months, the island has experienced a series of small, regional blackouts as well as wide-ranging outages, such as one last week that left almost 1 million people without power.