A single tree plunged more than half of the island’s population into darkness. It was a humbling reminder for some that power restoration is not yet complete in more remote parts of the island.
One tree was all it took. Around 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, a wayward trunk tumbled over onto a major transmission line in Puerto Rico’s still-fragile electrical grid and cut power to roughly 840,000 customers, affecting more than half of the island’s population.
Officials from the island’s electric utility company – PREPA — said the accident occurred in the region of Cayey, where crews were working to restore power to people still waiting nearly seven months after Hurricane Maria. Increasingly, that work requires clearing away heavily forested mountainsides to gain access to the large utility poles that carry transmission lines from one mountain peak to the next.