NEW YORK – An estimated one million homes and businesses were still without power in Puerto Rico Thursday morning after Hurricane Fiona passed through the island on Sunday, causing a territory-wide power outage to its estimated 3.3 million population.
Hurricane Fiona is now heading toward Bermuda and then eastern Canada as a major hurricane with winds of up to 130 miles per hour (215 kilometers per hour). The storm has killed at least eight people.
Fiona arrived in Puerto Rico five years after Hurricane Maria left the island without power in 2017.
Poweroutages.com, which estimates power outages based on data from utility companies, said 1.033 million customers were without service as of early Thursday based on what it called limited information available from LUMA Energy, which operates the Puerto Rico network.
According to Poweroutages.com, as of early Wednesday there were approximately 1.168 million customers without power, out of a total of 1.468 million.
This pace of restoration is much faster than after Maria, when nearly all 1.5 million customers lost power for a week, when 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 arrived in Puerto Rico as a Category 4 hurricane with 155 mph winds, while Fiona arrived as a Category 1 storm with 85 mph winds.
LUMA Energy said late Wednesday that it had restored service to nearly 376,000 customers. LUMA has said that “a full restoration could take several days.”
LUMA is a joint venture owned by units of Canadian energy company ATCO (50%) and US energy contractor Quanta Services (50%).
PREPA continues to own a large part of Puerto Rico’s electrical infrastructure. LUMA was awarded a contract to operate the network in 2020 and began running that system in 2021.