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New York to send additional utility crews to Puerto Rico

New York to send additional utility crews to Puerto Rico
© Greg Nash

The state of New York is sending further assistance help restore power in Puerto Rico after the island announced it was canceling its contract with Whitefish Energy, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced Sunday.

"New York is deploying additional utility crews and equipment to help restore power in Puerto Rico," Cuomo tweeted.

“70% of PR is w/o power,” Cuomo added. “If it was any state on the mainland, it would be a national crisis. NY won’t leave until power is fully restored.”

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Puerto Rico’s state-run electric utility earlier Sunday said it was canceling its $300-million contract with Whitefish Energy amid mounting controversy over the deal. Gov. Ricardo Rosselló had asked the utility to cancel the deal at a press conference on Sunday, and called for an investigation into the recruitment process for emergency services.

The contract drew scrutiny, with critics pointing to Whitefish having only two full-time employees when the storm hit the island. In addition, the company is located in the hometown of Interior Secretary Ryan ZinkeRyan Keith ZinkeOvernight Energy: Interior finalizes plan to open 80 percent of Alaska petroleum reserve to drilling | Justice Department lawyers acknowledge presidential transition in court filing | Trump admin pushes for permits for men who inspired Bundy standoff Trump administration pushes for grazing permits for men who inspired Bundy standoff Interior secretary tests positive for COVID-19 after two days of meetings with officials: report MORE, though he has said he had nothing to do with the contract.

New York already deployed resources to Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria, but Rosselló said in a press conference that the island would coordinate with New York and Florida to reinforce brigades.