The number of customers of the Electric Power Authority (PREPA) without service increased this afternoon to 453,000, a figure that is expected to remain stable or decrease as the tropical storm Isaías emerges from the local area and begin work to reestablish the system, reported Fernando Padilla, director of project management and restoration of the public corporation.
The official explained that some brigades could soon be going out to verify the system and begin repairs as long as the rains and winds are not a threat to the workers. In total, PREPA has 235 brigades to work the emergency, he said.
“Until now we have no breakdowns due to the destruction of some part of the system. That is confirmed by the number of clients that remain in service, "said Padilla. Currently, customers under blackout represent 30% of those connected to PREPA's system.
“In the afternoon the sky is clearing a little. The most complicated part is the southwest with the passage of the last rain band, "he said. The areas most affected by interruptions in electrical service are Ponce, Caguas and Mayagüez.
The official alleged that even when they have several electricity transmission lines out of service, the energy in the network is sufficient to power the substations and bring the service to the houses.
He indicated that aerial inspections of transmission lines, whose repair would give more stability to the system, will probably not begin until tomorrow when weather conditions improve.
Padilla said that, even with the transmission lines out of service, the "transmission system has shown stability", so they do not foresee that extraordinary repairs will be needed to reconnect customers.
The first lines to be reconnected are those that carry power to hospitals, the airport, and other critical service facilities.
In the morning hours of today the number of customers without service was around 300,000. The interruption of service to these customers occurred, in part, due to the departure of functions from multiple transmission lines, which led the public corporation to reduce electricity production on the island since they could not bring power to customers. Many breakdowns have also been reported in the electricity distribution system, which is the one that works at the community level and to which the houses are connected.
Padilla urged people to report the faults they detect through the social networks of the public corporation or by calling (787) 521-3434.