Another Massive Blackout Struck Puerto Rico Last Night

Authored by Daisy Luther via The Organic Prepper blog,

Last night, an explosion at a San Juan power plant regressed Puerto Rico’s efforts to restore power to the island five months after Hurricane Maria struck a massive blow.

Much of Northern Puerto Rico has suffered another blackout, including the capital city.

The island’s Electric Power Authority said several municipalities were without power, including parts of the capital, San Juan, but they were optimistic it could be restored within a day as they worked to repair a substation that controls voltage…

…It was not immediately known what caused Sunday’s fire, which was quickly extinguished. Officials said the explosion knocked two other substations offline and caused a total loss of 400 megawatts worth of generation. (source)

Before this explosion, more than a million people were still without power from the Category 4 hurricane that struck the island on Sept. 20, 2017. They’ve been thrown back in time by a hundred years, with no power, no running water, and damaged homes.

This is a prime example of how disasters aren’t just one-time occurrences. They’re very often followed by subsequent disasters.

Think about it. Fires are often followed by floods which are followed by mudslides and sinkholes. (See California for reference.)  The tsunami in Japan was followed by a nuclear plant disaster. Hurricane Harvey in Texas had storm surges and floods that caused a chemical plant to explode a few days later. Now, this already-stressed infrastructure has crumbled again under it’s increasing demand.

Power has been restored to a few critical locations.

This is one situation in which living in a more populated area can benefit you. After last night’s explosion, workers were quick to restore power to specific locations.

By late Sunday, electricity workers had been able to restore power to key locations, including the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in Carolina, as well as the Medical Center. (source)

As well, after Hurricane Maria, the first areas to resume some form of normalcy were the ones with higher population. San Juan saw it’s power restored immediately but people in more remote areas are still waiting. And not just a few people.

Vox estimated that 1.36 million Americans are still without electricity. You’ll see other numbers that say 400,000, but that is counting households, not individuals.

The US Army Corps of Engineers… estimated that Puerto Rico would need 50,000 utility poles and 6,500 miles of cable to restore its power system…

…When an electrical circuit is open or broken, the power doesn’t flow, whether that’s a flashlight or a phone.

It’s a simple concept, but when it happens in the electricity grid — what engineers say is the largestmost complex machine ever built — it quickly becomes a byzantine problem.

With thousands of miles of transmission lines, gigawatts of generation, computers that route power, frequency regulators, and transformers that all serve the constantly fluctuating needs of millions of people, lots of things can go wrong. Generators can shut down. Transformers can explode. Power demand and supply can fall out of balance.

By far the most common cause of blackouts is damage to power lines, which are the most vulnerable part of the electrical grid to storms.

“In a disruption like this, it’s transmission and distribution,” Marsters said. “Damage does occur to generation assets, but those are point specific and you can get those back online in a reasonable time.”

…Puerto Ricans are now desperately trying to connect the main power arteries to individual homes, and some have resorted to their own makeshift repairs, mounting their own utility poles and stringing up low-voltage transmission lines. (source)

But even before Hurricane Maria made landfall, things with the infrastructure were dire.

The power grid in Puerto Rico was in rough shape BEFORE Maria

Even before the hurricane devastated the island, the infrastructure was in terrible shape, a fact underlined by last night’s explosion.

The blast illustrated the challenges of restoring a power grid that was already crumbling before it was devastated by the Category 4 hurricane.

In many cases, power workers are repairing equipment that should have long been replaced but remained online due to the power authority’s yearslong financial crisis. PREPA is worth roughly $4 billion, carries $9 billion in debt and has long been criticized for political patronage and inefficiency. It also struggled with frequent blackouts, including an island-wide outage in September 2016.  (source)

Before Maria made landfall, I wrote an article that predicted a long haul to get power restored.

It’s entirely possible that Hurricane Maria will put the island in the dark for quite some time to come, completely changing their way of life. 70,000 people are still without power from their bout with Irma, and much more damage to the utility system is expected. Gov. Rossello said:

“We will not have sustainable electric infrastructure in the near future. We will be bringing in crews from outside of Puerto Rico to attend to these measures.”(source)

Philipe Schoene Roura, the editor of a San Juan, Puerto Rico-based newspaper, Caribbean Business, wrote:

Prepa Executive Director Ricardo Ramos Rodríguez recently said the powerlines carrying electricity in the public corporation’s system are in such a deteriorated state that a strong storm could leave the island without power for weeks.

“To give you a number, if during Hurricane Georges 100 lines went down in 1998, today the same [kind of ] hurricane would bring down 1,000,” the official candidly told Caribbean Business when asked about the possibility of Prepa’s system effectively withstanding the onslaught of a similar storm.

“The lifespan of most of Prepa’s equipment has expired. There is a risk that in light of this dismal infrastructure situation, a large atmospheric event hitting Puerto Rico could wreak havoc because we are talking about a very vulnerable and fragile system at the moment,” Ramos added…

…Francisco Guerrero (a fictitious name to protect his identity), a Prepa field worker for 23 years, said it would take months for Prepa to bring up Puerto Rico’s power system should a hurricane like Harvey strike the island.

The lack of linemen and other technical personnel, as well as a lack of equipment—including replacement utility poles for powerlines and replacement parts—are the issues of greatest concern among public corporation employees, who say they risk their lives working with equipment in poor condition that provides them with little safety.

Guerrero said that today only 580 linemen remain out of the 1,300 who were part of the workforce in previous years—and that’s not counting the upcoming retirement of another 90 linemen. Likewise, he said there are only 300 electrical line testers to serve the entire island.

The source also said that much of Prepa’s equipment dates back to the 1950s—and the more “modern” equipment that is still functional dates from the 1990s; in other words, it’s from the past century.

“If a hurricane like this one [Harvey] hits us, the system is not going to come online, I’d say, in over six months. Right now, the warehouses don’t even have materials. I’m talking about utility poles and other stuff,” Guerrero explained.

“How can you say that you have equipment that dates back to the 1950s and you are not buying parts to repair them? When it’s time for maintenance work, you don’t have the part and you leave things as they are, but there is an entry in the log saying maintenance was done. And yes, it was done, but the most important thing was not done, which was to replace that part,” he added.

Although he did not assign the debacle to former Prepa Chief Restructuring Officer Lisa Donahue’s order to stop buying supplies as the main cause for the lack of materials, he is certain the order was “the straw that broke the camel’s back.” (source)

Many people thought it was a ridiculous premise and that power would be up and running within a couple of weeks. But it turns out, that was cognitive dissonance. This situation is all the proof you need to see that things can change overnight.

Go watch this video to see what everyday life is like in Puerto Rico for nearly half a million people.

Do you think things will ever be the same in Puerto Rico?

Have the residents of the island been permanently thrown back into Third World status? Will the power ever be fully restored? And considering they’re Americans too, isn’t it rather embarrassing that we aren’t doing more to aid in the recovery?

Comments

stacking12321 shankster Mon, 02/12/2018 - 23:05 Permalink

You’re being willfully blind if you refuse to understand that Mexico’s having the worlds greatest terrorist nation on its border had nothing to do with its plight.

corruption is too powerful to stand up to in mexico and the drug cartels rule all - where do the cartels get so much power? Thank the good ol us of a for that.

get rid of the cia and its support of the zetas drug cartel get rid of Eric holder and his fast and furious gun runners, get rid of the dea and its failed "war on drugs" which prop up drug prices, and a lot of Mexico’s problems would go away.

In reply to by shankster

Bigly Big Whoop Tue, 02/13/2018 - 08:04 Permalink

Bingo! Big pharma is hurtin' 

Ha hah hah ha!

Take a look at the wsj in last 2 days.

-Japan has drug that kills all flu in 24 hours.

-Ovarian cancer is fallopian tube and can be ID'd early by lesion...up to 7 years.

New antibiotics found in soil that do not appear to devekop resistance ...pseudouridimycin.

Purdue is 'no longer marketing' oxycontin to docs.

SOUNDS TO ME LIKE TRUMP HAS RELEASED THE KRAKEN AGAINST BIG PHARMA. 

REMEMBER. WE HAVE THE CURES TO AIDS, CANCER ETC. PHARMA MAKES NO MONEY IF NO ONGOING CUSTOMERS.

RED PILL YOURSELVES, OTHERS.

 

In reply to by Big Whoop

overbet lookslikecraptome Tue, 02/13/2018 - 00:15 Permalink

I'll entertain your facisious comment after I junk it. Without sustainable power youve got bigger problems than accessing your cold storage wallet. If you've prepared, which is expected when you choose to live in such an environment, then you should be fine. Why would you only be expecting to use btc? Is everything a nail so you just have a hammer? You could certainly move your hundred million in btc off the island in your pocket. Hopefully it doesn't get worse and people don't lose access to their funds in the banks. Personally I wouldn't spend any btc. You'd be giving it away at these levels. I keep cash for that type of emergency.

Can you use your debit/credit card or 1 oz gold coins to buy food or water there right now? You expect change? May even be hard breaking 100s. Think ahead for as many variables you can come up with and plan accordingly

The guy before did not have legit questions. His entire question was under the flawed assumption that the seller would be holding the btc for a month. He's read so much, but he arrives at a month how? He can't logically conclude the seller could choose to convert immediately either eliminating or reducing volatility risk? What the fuck is that? I thought he was trolling it was so ridiculous. If you want to feed him go for it, but I'm out

In reply to by lookslikecraptome

Muppet tmosley Tue, 02/13/2018 - 03:16 Permalink

"

 

Vox estimated that 1.36 million Americans are still without electricity.

"

Americans?  ... Puerto Rico has its own Constitution.  Now  Speaker Paul Ryan may consider them Americans since he led and passed the Bill whereby American taxpayers must backstop PR-muni bonds, but, to those informed Puerto Rico citizens are not Americans.

 

In reply to by tmosley

jcaz pc_babe Mon, 02/12/2018 - 21:07 Permalink

Yeah, that's too bad, but here's the thing- we've already dumped enough money down this shithole since the storm to re-power the entire fucking island six times over- where's all THAT money gone????

Let's ask that scumbag mayor chick......

In reply to by pc_babe

MK ULTRA Alpha jcaz Mon, 02/12/2018 - 21:22 Permalink

It was mostly likely sabotage. We need to evacuate Puerto Rico and sell it.

We can sell it to the highest bidder with a starting auction bid at $1 trillion. Want an island?

I'm sure a country or group of billionaires could buy it. It would do wonders for the deficit and all that new labor and consumers, we can call it the reverse Dreamer act, send the Dreamers back home and replace them with the American Dream resettlement act, and be paid over a trillion to do it. We can put a rider on the bill, people from Puerto Rico can be settled in Alaska. Land, housing everything.

Now that's a budget fix deal, instead of rebuilding cost and paying off the old debt which was in default, transfer the remaining people to Alaska, sell Puerto Rico, use the over a trillion to pay off the old debt, settle the people in southern and western Alaska, (bulwark against invasion) and use the rest of the money from the sale to lower the budget deficit.

In reply to by jcaz

MK ULTRA Alpha whether underground Mon, 02/12/2018 - 21:43 Permalink

No, I'm serious, the cost to rebuild Puerto Rico, pay off their debt and to pay for all the people who've already evacuated would bankrupt this country. We'll be paying in the $50 billion to $80 billion range for decades. It'll cost a trillion.

The families who've already evacuated are costing tax payers, hundreds of thousands are flowing in, local and state resources are being used, this is an expensive event. Hundreds of thousands of children will be enrolled in local schools, the cost will go through the roof.

Before another hurricane hits, it might be a good idea to just evacuate the island and sell it. Pay for resettlement, pay off the islands huge debt, and use the rest to lower the US deficit.

I chose Alaska for a resettlement zone because of the availability of land. Many are agriculture workers, low skilled and would be more than happy for a tract of farm land, even though it does get cold. A trillion dollars can go a long way, government land, buildings, house etc. Alaska the Last Frontier.

40 acres and a John Deere

 

In reply to by whether underground

manofthenorth MK ULTRA Alpha Mon, 02/12/2018 - 21:54 Permalink

Alaska invites you and the dreamers to go fuck themselves....................

this is no land for the weak of flesh and mind.

Agriculture here in the far north is VERY challenging and those used to mild climates would not last the first winter.

On January 17, 1980 in McGrath, AK the low of -54F was followed the next day by a high of +41F a swing of 95F in a little over 24 hours, not for the faint of heart.

On a side note, the federal government owns about 90% of Alaska and they are not giving up a single acre. 

For the last 30 years they have been accumulating all the old abandoned homesteads they can get their hands on and annexing them into the federal holdings.

In reply to by MK ULTRA Alpha

MK ULTRA Alpha manofthenorth Mon, 02/12/2018 - 22:21 Permalink

I was thinking more to the south and south west, not northern Alaska.

Fishing skills would be utilized etc, many professional people, medical etc. The Great Alaska Puerto Rico Resettlement Act. Using government land was the idea, Alaska could take a couple of million people, these aren't Dreamers, these people can come and go through out the US and their evacuating.

Millions will be flowing into the US, when we sell Puerto Rico, the government would be able to build houses in Alaska in the southern and southwestern region, Alaska is so multi-colored now, you won't even notice the difference.

And you're correct about government land policies, it's a war on the people.

And Alaska is cold, cold, but Alaska is big and we need more people in Alaska. The Russians are planning to take back Alaska. If there's a global war, the US could be hurt bad, more people in Alaska means a better defense.

Alaska is always in need of people, there is great economic opportunity in Alaska and an increase in population would drive more economic growth. More Alaskan crab legs please, more salmon, more oil, more gold, more timber, more production.

In reply to by manofthenorth

MEFOBILLS MK ULTRA Alpha Mon, 02/12/2018 - 21:35 Permalink

We can sell it to the highest bidder with a starting auction bid at $1 trillion. Want an island?

 

Take a look at a map.  Puerto Rico and Cuba are strategic for protecting America's coastline from Maritime attack.  I'm glad you are not in charge. 

Any sort of leader that had a pair of testicles, would shore up his countries coastlines, and that includes California.  It is easier to export the people, or not let them breed, rather than lose the lands.

 

In reply to by MK ULTRA Alpha

NoDebt MK ULTRA Alpha Mon, 02/12/2018 - 21:47 Permalink

"We can sell it to the highest bidder"

Maybe Spain would want it back.  That's who we got it from after all.  Of course, the "minimum bid" would be the outstanding notional value of their municipal debt, which Spain couldn't afford anyway.

Maybe Russia would be interested.  They could call it "Cuba 2"

Or... OR... we could do what we do best- send in a bunch of troops and cause the island to capsize (The Hank Johnson option).

Oh, my God, I could do this ENDLESSLY.  I need to punch out to another thread before I OD on this shit.

 

In reply to by MK ULTRA Alpha

MK ULTRA Alpha Pure Evil Mon, 02/12/2018 - 22:41 Permalink

There's a great many moving to Florida. They're planning to stay where they land. Also the up tick in deaths from the flu could be connected to Houston and Puerto Rico.

People are dying everywhere at 4000 per week.

I say redirect them to FEMA camps nationwide for quarantine, then resettlement in the new southern and southwestern  Alaska economic zone.

It's true, since the influx of hurricane refugees resettling nationwide people began dying at higher and higher rates, this is now not a normal cold and flu season. This is a full scale national epidemic. People are dying everywhere.

In reply to by Pure Evil

107cicero youarelost Mon, 02/12/2018 - 21:23 Permalink

The first terrorists in Palestine were Israelis. Ben Gurion and buddies in July 1946 bombed the king David hotel in Jerusalem in 1946 killing Bernadotte the great-grandson of Napoleon's Marshal Bernadotte  who was working for the United Nations.  Something like 50 died. None of them soldiers.

One man's freedom fighter is another man's terrorist and visa versa.

So don't give me your biased delusional crap!!

 

In reply to by youarelost

Freddie youarelost Mon, 02/12/2018 - 21:27 Permalink

The libtard San Juan mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz.   What kind of name is Yulin?  Russian.   She is a chosenite.  Puerto Rico's banks have lots of Chosunite hispanics or in Miami known as Jubans. 

They looted Puerto Rico and tanked the banks just like they loot other places.  This is the main reason PR is so f*cked up.

In reply to by youarelost