Puerto Rico governor hopes for 95 percent power restoration by December

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello held a press conference on recovery efforts in Puerto Rico. on Oct 1. On Saturday, Rossello said he hopes to have 95 percent of the island's power grid working by Dec. 15. Photo: YouTube

Oct. 16 (UPI) — The governor of Puerto Rico said he expects to have 95 percent of the hurricane-ravaged island’s power grid working by December 15.

“This is an aggressive agenda, but we cannot be sort of passive in the face of Puerto Rico’s challenges,” said Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, according to CNN. “We are going to need all hands on deck.”

On Sunday, only 15 percent of the island had electricity. But Rosselló said the next two months should be enough time to get the island’s power grid back on track and said his goals were 30 percent by the end of October, 50 percent by Nov. 15 and 80 percent by Dec. 1.

Rosselló said the goals were established “so that our people can have clear and established metrics,” reported NBC News.

Puerto Rico’s power grid has been in shambles ever since Hurricane Maria devastated the island on Sep. 20, leaving 90 percent of the island without electricity and 40 percent without running water.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency said Wednesday that more than 19,000 federal civilian personnel and members of the military are working in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico to aid in recovery efforts there.

“These efforts include restoring power and potable water, returning hospitals to operation, increasing fuel supplies, increasing cell phone coverage, and re-opening transportation facilities,” FEMA said.

On Thursday, the House approved a $36.5 billion aid package for states and U.S. territories affected by hurricanes this year, as well as California, which has been scarred by wildfires. The aid package will go to the Senate for a final vote.


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