Brooklyn nonprofit: U.S. must do more to aide Puerto Rico amid mass power outage

Power is returning to residents in Puerto Rico after an island-wide outage that lasted for days.

News 12 Staff

Apr 12, 2022, 3:58 PM

Updated 796 days ago

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Power is returning to residents in Puerto Rico after an island-wide outage that lasted for days. A Brooklyn-based nonprofit is working to help those on the island struggling after a series of tough breaks.
The recent power outage that left more than a million customers in Puerto Ricco without electricity.
"It's just like if Hurricane Maria smacked us again," says Astrid Lopez, a resident in the Bronx who is currently in Puerto Rico. "And the aftermath, which is what really hurts people, is still on. It's still going on."
Lopez moved from Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. Over the weekend, she traveled back to San Juan to be with her family after news of the outages came out on Thursday. This is the biggest blackout so far this year across the U.S. territory.
Lopez says it has forced kids to miss school, shut down essential businesses and forced residents to throw out spoiled food.
Brooklyn nonprofit Your Network Caring Community Advocate was created in 2018 to help Puerto Ricans move forward after Hurricane Maria devastated the island in 2017. The group sent food, water and aide to the island. Organizers say they want the issues impacting Puerto Ricans to be just as important as those happening in the continental U.S.
"[The U.S.] should be more involved. They should have a plan A and a Plan B. Stop seeing PR as a tourist attraction," says Sonia Velazquez of the Your Network Caring Community Advocate.
On the day of the outages, FEMA says that it approved nearly $9 billion to Puerto Rico's power company in 2020 to rebuild the island's electrical grid. However, that the agency has not received the information needed to approve construction funds.
News 12 reached out to the island's power operator, LUMA Energy, but have not received a response at this time.


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