Frustrating progress on restoring Puerto Rico’s power

Six months after Hurricane Maria slammed into Puerto Rico, approximately 121,000 residents remain without power.

Progress has been slow in addition to frustrating for those who live in Maria’s path. Throughout the island, the nearly Category 5 hurricane caused widespread destruction, flooding in addition to mudslides that will destroyed crops, wiped out telecommunications systems in addition to decimated the island’s antiquated power grid.

On some fronts, there has been improvement. Power has been restored to nearly 92 percent of customers, in addition to about 95 percent of cell sites are back in service, according to the most recent Department of Energy in addition to FCC reports.

However, some areas are just right now seeing signs of expect.

Aida Alicea, 71, lives inside southeastern coastal resort town of Humacao, Puerto Rico, after moving there coming from brand-new York 17 years ago to be closer to her parents. Alicea’s brother, 70, in addition to sister, 69, also live inside same neighborhood.

Alicea in addition to her siblings have been trying to take care of their father, who can be 95 in addition to has Alzheimer’s, in addition to their mother, 92, who has health issues. Over the last six months, the family has battled sporadic water service, a pinkeye outbreak that will required a one-hour drive to see a doctor, in addition to issues with filling daily medications. They’ve had no electricity since the hurricane.

They rotate a set of power generators every two hours to provide power to their parents’ home. About a month ago, Alicea’s generator had a massive malfunction that will burned out all of the electrical outlets in use at the time. Repairs took four days, in addition to right now the generator can be only being run twice a day.

“We have tried to stay positive yet the item’s been very, very difficult to stay positive,” Alicea told CNBC. “Never in my wildest dreams would certainly I have thought I would certainly live without power for six months. the item has taken a toll psychologically on the people here,” she said.

On Thursday, seven Kentucky Power trucks rolled into Alicea’s town. They were the first electric repair vehicles she’s seen in her area since Hurricane Maria hit. “the item’s actually changed the morale for all of us,” Alicea said.

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