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LUMA Responding in Puerto Rico Following Island-Wide Outage Caused by Hurricane Fiona

Sept. 19, 2022
Given the size and scope of the outage, as well as ongoing impacts of Hurricane Fiona, full power restoration could take several days.

Hurricane Fiona surged across Puerto Rico yesterday, knocking out power to the more than 3 million residents on the island. Fiona made landfall along the southwestern coast near Punta Tocon at 3:20 pm AST. Maximum sustained winds at landfall were 85 mph (140 km/h) with a pressure of 986 mb (29.12 in Hg), NOAA reported. As of Monday morning,  LUMA had restored electrical service to 100,000 customers within the municipalities of Toa Alta, Toa Baja, the San Juan metropolitan area, Bayamón and Corozal.

Given the size and scope of the outage, as well as ongoing impacts of Hurricane Fiona, full power restoration could take several days. According to statement from LUMA, "We have the team, the tools, and the resources in place to respond to this event. We ask our customers for their support and patience as our LUMA crews are working hard to restore power during what is an incredibly challenging and dangerous storm. We are coordinating with PREMB and other agencies and will continue to keep our customers updated,"

Even as Hurricane Fiona continues to impact Puerto Rico, LUMA crews are actively responding to the outage. The following is a list of step-by-step actions LUMA has taken and is currently taking to help restore more customers as weather and conditions on the ground permit.

  • LUMA has mobilized 1,987 field employees and contractors.
  • LUMA has positioned resources around the island to support the safe restoration of power when and where possible.
  • LUMA has been coordinating emergency response efforts with PREPA and the private generators since before to the arrival of Hurricane Fiona.
  • LUMA’s system operations team is working with PREPA to increase generation capacity and restore service to more customers over the coming hours.
  • So far, LUMA has taken the following actions to restore power and begin reenergizing the energy system:
    • Started Palo Seco Unit 1-1
    • Started Palo Seco Unit 2-1
    • Starting Palo Seco Unit 3
    • Energized 115kv line 38200, which energized Monacillo Substation
    • Energized 115kv line 38700 to San Juan Power Plant, Aux XFMR energized
    • Energized a portion of Centro Medico 
    • Initiated the startup of Unit 6, Unit 7 & Unit 9 at the San Juan Power Plant

Expanded restoration efforts will increase as LUMA crews assess the damage caused by Hurricane Fiona.

Fiona hit  two days before the anniversary of Hurricane Maria, a Category 4 storm that struck on Sept. 20, 2017, destroying the island’s power grid and causing nearly 3,000 deaths, according to an Associated Press report. More than 3,000 homes still have only a blue tarp as a roof, and infrastructure remains weak, including the power grid. Outages remain common, and reconstruction started only recently, the AP reported.

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