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Hurricane exposes fragility of Puerto Rico’s energy grid despite large-scale investments

William Brangham:

But Puerto Rico’s governor says it will take days for power to be fully restored to the island.

And these outages are driving renewed frustration and criticism of the private company, LUMA, that took over running the electrical grid in 2021. Earlier this year, protests erupted in the streets of San Juan over the constant blackouts people were experiencing. Puerto Rico’s public power authority, known as PREPA, owns the grid, but it went bankrupt.

This mixture of public and private control has left LUMA and PREPA blaming each other for the outages, which are tied not just to the storms, but to years of underinvestment and slow rebuilding, this while residents of the island continue to pay the price.

For more on how Puerto Rico is trying to recover from this storm, I’m joined by Yarimar Bonilla. She’s the director of the center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College in New York.

Yarimar, thank you so much for being here on the “NewsHour.”

Can you just give us a sense? I know you’re in touch with a lot of people on the island. How are people doing right now?

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