Restoring Power To Puerto Rico's Last 2 Percent Seven months after Hurricane Maria, thousands of people in the Puerto Rican mountains are still waiting for the lights to come back on. Why is power restoration for the last 2 percent so difficult?
NPR logo Restoring Power To Puerto Rico's Last 2 Percent

Restoring Power To Puerto Rico's Last 2 Percent

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In the mountainous regions of Puerto Rico, tens of thousands of residents are still waiting for the lights to come back on. Why is power restoration for the last 2 percent of people taking so long?

One reason is the rugged terrain, which makes it difficult to get large poles and heavy machinery to the island's most remote communities. Often, helicopters are the only way. Power crews are at work daily, but returns are diminishing. It takes more and more effort to energize fewer and fewer homes.

When the lights come back on after so long, it can feel like a rebirth. Neighborhoods erupt in celebration and shouts of joy echo across valleys.

Federal and local officials say everyone on the island will have their power back before the start of hurricane season on June 1. Many people doubt it'll happen. With less than a month to go, it's a waiting game.

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