Hurricane Maria knocked out power in Puerto Rico. All of it.
Yesterday, Maria hit Puerto Rico as a Category 4 storm – the strongest to hit the US territory in almost a century. The entire island – more than three million people – is without power. Thousands are in shelters. There’s widespread flooding. The governor has issued a curfew. And winds were so high that emergency responders had to wait hours to start rescue efforts.
Where is it now?
It’s been downgraded to a Category 2 and is heading toward the Dominican Republic and Turks and Caicos. But Puerto Rican officials warn that the danger isn’t over – there’s the potential for flash flooding and mudslides. And all of this couldn’t come at a worse time.
Puerto Rico has been in a recession for more than a decade and owes tens of billions in bills to investors, which it can’t pay. Earlier this year, it filed for bankruptcy. This means the public power company is low on cash, and its infrastructure isn’t in the best shape. It could take weeks to get the lights back on.
Maria hit as Puerto Rico was still recovering from the effects of Hurricane Irma. Now, it’ll have to call on the US gov for help getting back on its feet.