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Darkness Returns to San Juan, Power Line Fails


Power is slowly returning to San Juan, Puerto Rico, after a massive outage struck the city once again.

The recent problem was due to a failure on a main north-south transmission line, an official with the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority told CBN News.

"It was a mechanical issue on the line, could have happened at any line. It's being patrolled and repaired by us," said the employee.

He said he didn't know what caused the transmission line to fail.

As of Friday afternoon, some 60 percent of the island is still without power, since Hurricane Maria hit two months ago.

Officials tell CBN News 22 percent of the residents still don't have clean running water.

Homes and businesses that had been on the grid power had to restart generators if they had them.

In a statement Thursday afternoon, the Puerto Rican government said that workers had made progress toward the repairs and that equipment was being put in place to restore the service.

"We have maximum interest in resolving this and energizing the metropolitan area again," Justo González, director of generation for the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, said in a Facebook Live video. "We will be resolving this problem soon."

The power failure was the latest blow for Puerto Rico's beleaguered and bankrupt power company, which has been criticized for awarding a small Montana firm a $300 million contract to fix power lines that included highly unusual clauses that prohibited any audits. 

Several congressional committees are investigating the deal, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency has vowed not to pay for it.

Many who call the island home tell CBN News, "We are sick of this and are thinking of leaving the island forever."

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