Stock Markets 1 hour ago (Oct 06, 2022 08:06AM ET)
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: People walk on a street affected by the passing of Hurricane Fiona in Penuelas, Puerto Rico September 19, 2022. REUTERS/Ricardo Arduengo/File Photo
NEW YORK (Reuters) – An estimated 118,000 homes and businesses were still without power in Puerto Rico on Thursday, over two weeks after Hurricane Fiona caused an island-wide outage for its 3.3 million people.
Fiona hit Puerto Rico on Sept. 18, about five years after Hurricane Maria also knocked out all power on the island.
After hitting Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, Fiona turned north and slammed into eastern Canada on Sept. 24, leaving more than a third of Nova Scotia without power.
Nova Scotia Power, a unit of Canadian energy company Emera Inc, said about 5,200 customers were still without power early Thursday.
PowerOutage.us said about 118,000 customers were without service in Puerto Rico on Thursday, up from 101,000 on Wednesday, based on information from LUMA Energy, which operates its grid.
That pace of restoration – though slow – was faster than after Maria when almost all 1.5 million customers had no power for a week. At that time the now bankrupt Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) was still operating the grid.
It took PREPA about 11 months to restore power to all customers, but Maria was a much more powerful storm than Fiona.
Maria hit Puerto Rico in 2017 as a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 155 miles (249 kms) per hour (mph), while Fiona hit as a Category 1 storm with winds of 85 mph.
LUMA Energy said it restored service to 1.405 million, or about 96% of all customers by late Wednesday and expects to restore service to 90% of customers in the hardest hit areas by Oct. 6 so long as sufficient generation is available.
LUMA is a joint venture owned by units of Canadian energy firm ATCO Ltd (50%) and U.S. energy contractor Quanta Services Inc (NYSE:) (50%).