Story at a glance
- Hurricane Fiona struck the island of Puerto Rico on Sept. 18, causing flash flooding, mudslides and an islandwide blackout.
- Two weeks later, there are still over 100,000 homes and businesses without power.
- LUMA Energy, the American-Canadian company responsible for electricity transmission and distribution, has restored power to 1.34 million customers so far and aims to restore power in Ponce and Mayagüez later this week.
Nearly 120,000 customers in Puerto Rico are still without power two weeks after Hurricane Fiona struck the island.
LUMA Energy, the Canadian-American power company responsible for the distribution and transmission of electricity on the island, said Sunday it has restored service to more than 1.34 million customers, or 92 percent of its total clientele.
Fiona slammed into the island’s southwest corner as a Category 1 hurricane on Sept. 18 with maximum sustained winds of 85 miles per hour.
Rainfall from Fiona caused flash flooding across parts of the island, and the whipping winds ripped up sidewalks and teared off roofs. After the storm made landfall, all the island’s homes and businesses lost power, including several hospitals, and water supplies were cut off to thousands.
Hundreds of thousands of islanders were left in darkness as the slow progress to restore electricity resulted in an extended blackout.
Nearly a week after Fiona hit, more than 1.5 million customers remained without power across the island. Now, there are about 114,000 customers that are still waiting for the lights to come back on, according to poweroutage.us, an organization that tracks outages and blackouts across the United States and Puerto Rico.
More than 77,000 of those customers are located in the western part of Puerto Rico, one of the hardest hit areas of the island.
The Puerto Rican Department of Health has confirmed 13 people have died so far as a direct or indirect consequence of the hurricane, and another 12 deaths are under investigation.
At least three people were killed after the storm when the lights went out. Two people died after a candle caused a house fire, and one person was killed by fumes from a generator, The New York Times reported.
LUMA field crew members are prioritizing “critical repairs” in the western and southern parts of the island and are on track to restore power to the residents of Ponce and Mayagüez between Tuesday, Oct. 4 and Thursday, Oct. 6, the company said in a statement.