NEW YORK (Reuters) – An estimated 926,500 homes and businesses remained without power in Puerto Rico Friday morning, five days after Hurricane Fiona caused an island-wide power outage to its 3.3 million residents.
Hurricane Fiona was now passing through Bermuda as it headed for Nova Scotia in Canada, classified as a major hurricane with winds of up to 125 mph (205 km/h). The storm killed at least eight people.
Fiona hit Puerto Rico on Sunday, five years after Hurricane Maria knocked out all electricity on the island.
PowerOutage.us, which estimates outages based on utility data, said 926,500 customers were without service early Friday based on information from LUMA Energy, which operates the Puerto Rican grid.
According to PowerOutage.us, there were approximately 1.033 million customers without power early Thursday out of a total of 1.468 million customers.
The pace of recovery was much faster than after Maria – when all 1.5 million customers had no power for a week. At the time, the now bankrupt Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) was still operating on the grid.
The PREPA process took about 11 months to return energy to all clients, but Maria was much stronger than Fiona.
The US Federal Emergency Management Agency has so far attributed four deaths to the storm that hit Puerto Rico.
Maria struck Puerto Rico in 2017 as a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 155 mph, while Fiona struck as a Category 1 hurricane with winds of 85 mph.
LUMA Energy said late Thursday that it had restored service to approximately 474,300 customers. “Full recovery may take several days,” LUMA said.
LUMA is a unit-owned joint venture of Canadian energy company ATCO Ltd (50%) and a US energy contractor Quanta Services You (NYSE 🙂 (50%).
PREPA still owns much of Puerto Rico’s energy infrastructure. LUMA won a contract to operate the network in 2020 and began operating the system in 2021.