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*LA TIMES 2017 (Trump is Right): Puerto Rico’s Power Grid on Life Support long before the 2017 Hurricanes

Posted by FactReal on September 13, 2018

A 2017 Los Angeles Times[1] report provides evidence to Trump’s comments that Puerto Rico’s power grid was “poorly maintained, corruptly managed.”

The island’s faltering electrical grid, now crippled by the twin blows of Hurricane Maria and Hurricane Irma, already was struggling to keep the lights on after a history of poor maintenance, poorly trained staff, allegations of corruption and crushing debt.

As recently as 2016, the island suffered a three-day, island-wide blackout as a result of a fire. A private energy consultant noted then that the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority “appears to be running on fumes, and … desperately requires an infusion of capital — monetary, human and intellectual — to restore a functional utility.”

Puerto Ricans in early 2016 were suffering power outages at rates four to five times higher than average U.S. customers, said the report from the Massachusetts-based Synapse Energy Economics. […]

Restoring Puerto Rico’s power will involve much more than replacing downed poles and cables. The entire system of generation, transmission and distribution must be rebuilt, including replacement of high-voltage transmission lines Hyland said.


The warnings about impending electricity problems that were issued even before Hurricane Maria hit stemmed from the island’s long history of power outages and the lack of substantial refurbishing and maintenance.

Hurricane Georges in 1998 left the island without power for three weeks. The tropical storm destroyed 30,000 houses and damaged at least another 60,000.


Problems accumulated. Cutbacks in tree pruning left the 16,000 miles of primary power lines spread across the island vulnerable. Inspections, maintenance and repairs were scaled back. Up to 30% of the utility’s employees retired or migrated to the U.S. mainland, analysts said, and the utility had trouble hiring experienced employees to replace them.

…continue reading:
LA Times: Puerto Rico’s power grid on life support long before Hurricane Maria – report 9/28/2017

[1] Puerto Rico’s debt-plagued power grid was on life support long before hurricanes wiped it out (September 28, 2017)

Reuters 2017 (Trump is Right): The Bankrupt Utility behind Puerto Rico’s Power Crisis … before Hurricane Maria
ABC NEWS 2017 (Trump is Right): Puerto Rico Power Grid Falling Apart before Maria Hit
Washington Post 2017 (Trump is Right): Hurricane Maria’s Blow to Puerto Rico’s Bankrupt Utility and Fragile Electric Grid

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