About 101,000 still without power in Puerto Rico two weeks after Hurricane Fiona

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

(Reuters) – An estimated 101,000 homes and businesses were still without power in Puerto Rico on Wednesday, more than 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 7,700 customers were still without power in the province early on Wednesday, down from about 13,800 early on Tuesday.

PowerOutage.us said about 101,000 customers were without service in Puerto Rico on Wednesday, down from 109,000 on Tuesday, 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 1.384 million, or about 94% of all customers by late Tuesday.

LUMA is a joint venture owned by units of Canadian energy firm ATCO Ltd (50%) and U.S. energy contractor Quanta Services Inc (50%).

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