How Walla Walla Corps of Engineers is helping in Puerto Rico

Posted April 20, 2018

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Puerto Rico's Electric Power Authority says electricity has been restored to all 840,000 customers affected by a large power outage in the U.S. territory.

In another blow to its recovery efforts, an island-wide power outage left most of Puerto Rico in the dark, with only a fraction of residents regaining electricity by Wednesday night. He said the company hoped to have service restored by midday. Grimm, a civil land and energy contractor based in Conroe, Texas, took down a transmission line while working to restore power to the island on Wednesday.

A view of a street during an island-wide power outtage in San Juan, Puerto Rico, 18 April 2018.

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Seven months after Hurricane Maria sparked the longest blackout in USA history in Puerto Rico, the island is still struggling with blackouts, water shortages, and insufficient aid. Workers had been removing a fallen tower when the machine got too close to an energized line and an electrical ground fault caused the outage, according to Mammoth Energy, Cobra's parent company.

In March, six months since Hurricane Maria walloped the island, Gov. Rossello said that the electrical grid being put up now will be weaker than the grid that existed before the storm, adding that it could take almost five years for a stronger grid to be built. The origin stemmed from an excavator's connection with a power line that caused the major electrical blowout. Batteries began shipping to Puerto Rico last October, and additional projects using the Tesla Powerpacks started in December.

"Puerto Ricans are still dealing with constant setbacks and unreliable power", said Sen. As a result of these donations, today they presented a $4,000 check to Casa Protegida Julia de Burgos (www.casajulia.org), a well-respected institution for abused women in Puerto Rico founded in 1979. The next hurricane season is less than two months away.

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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. He said the union is investigating why a breaker at a main power station in the island's southern region did not function when the outage occurred.

"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. "Rebuilding the generating capability of Puerto Rico was not the Corps of Engineers' task".

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