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Some 349,000 are still without power in Puerto Rico after Fiona

NEW YORK (Reuters) – An estimated 349,000 homes and businesses were still without power in Puerto Rico on Wednesday after Hurricane Fiona hit on September 18, causing an island-wide power outage for its 3.3 million residents. .

After hitting Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, Hurricane Fiona turned north and hit eastern Canada on September 24, leaving more than a third of Nova Scotia without power.

Nova Scotia Power, a unit of Canadian energy company Emera Inc, said some 104,000 customers were still without power as of Wednesday morning.

Fiona hit Puerto Rico about five years after Hurricane Maria knocked out power to the island.

PowerOutage.us, which calculates outages based on utility data, said 349,000 customers were without service Wednesday based on data from LUMA Energy, which operates Puerto Rico’s grid.

There were about 503,000 customers without power on Tuesday out of a total of 1.468 million customers.

That rate of restoration is much faster than after Maria, when almost all 1.5 million customers were without power for a week. At the time, the now bankrupt Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) was still operating the grid.

It took PREPA about 11 months to restore power to all customers, but Maria was a much more powerful storm than Fiona.

Maria hit Puerto Rico in 2017 as a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 155 miles (249 kilometers) per hour (mph), while Fiona hit as a Category 1 storm with 85 mph winds.

LUMA Energy said it restored service to 1.141 million customers early Wednesday and expects to have 77% to 91% of customers restored by Friday if enough generation is available from PREPA and other private generators.

LUMA is a joint venture owned by units of Canadian energy company ATCO Ltd (50%) and US energy contractor Quanta Services Inc (50%).

(Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Angus MacSwan and Louise Heavens)

Copyright 2022 Thomson Reuters.

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