Quiñones said crews were working vigorously to restore power to those customers who had power before Wednesday’s blackout. More than 41,000 customers have not had their power restored seven months after the Hurricane Maria.
While Puerto Rico had been hit with several major blackouts in the hurricane’s wake, Wednesday marked the first time power was knocked out to the entire island since the Category 4 hurricane made landfall on Sept. 20.
Justo González, an executive deputy director of the power authority, said Wednesday that the blackout was caused by a private contractor whose bulldozer downed a transmission line while trying to remove a collapsed tower.
The latest blackout came just one week after 840,000 customers were left without power after a tree fell on another power line in the center of the island. A backup line that was supposed to prevent such an outage also failed.
The same contractor was involved in Wednesday's and last week's failures, and has been fired.
Puerto Rico's legislators are currently debating whether to privatize the island's power authority, which is $14 billion in debt.