Official: 2 More Months to Restore Power in Puerto Rico

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) -
puerto rico power
Old power cables spliced together and woven haphazardly through trees are used to power electricity to some houses in Cain Alto, Puerto Rico, Wednesday. This is a safety-code violation virtually guaranteed to leave the neighborhood blacked out in a future hurricane. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

The director of Puerto Rico’s power company tells The Associated Press that it could take another two months to fully restore power on the island, as crews work to strengthen the electrical grid amid a new hurricane season.

Walt Higgins said Thursday that the Electric Power Authority awarded a $500 million contract to Florida-based MasTec to help with power restoration efforts and plans to build a more efficient grid. He said another similar contract is being finalized.

Higgins estimated it could take up to $8 billion to strengthen the grid, and said the nearby islands of Vieques and Culebra would be the first places the grid will be built to modern standards.

More than 11,000 customers remain in the dark, more than eight months after Hurricane Maria.