In the aftermath of their controversial contract with Whitefish Energy, a small Montana company tasked with fixing the entire Puerto Rico power grid, Puerto Rico got more bad news. A power line repaired by Whitefish has failed, hindering relief efforts on the island still more.
43 percent of Puerto Rico had access to power before the line went down, BuzzFeed reports. After the failure, just 18 percent of the island has power. Included in the outage was the federal emergency command center and parts of San Juan, the capital.
This comes as yet another in a series of harsh blows to the recovery effort in Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico’s power grid has been derided as outdated, even ancient, and the recovery process had to begin nearly from the ground up. Not helping the matter is that FEMA and the U.S. government have dragged their feet or outright refused to give Puerto Rico the necessary aid. Whitefish itself should never have been hired, as it was a small-time outfit whose biggest contract previously had been about 1/300th the size of the contract in Puerto Rico. And it didn’t help that they were buddies with a Trump cabinet member.
While investigations are launched into the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority’s handling of the crisis, Puerto Ricans once again have to make due without power. There is no word yet on when it can be expected to be restored.