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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Caguas still 30% shy of total power restoration

Caguas Mayor William Miranda Torres

By The Star Staff

Caguas Mayor William Miranda Torres demanded Thursday that LUMA Energy, the private operator of the island’s electricity transmission and distribution system, respond to the demands of residents of sectors ranging from Barrio Borinquen to the municipality of Cayey and sections of the Río Cañas and Tomás de Castro neighborhoods, which have been without power service for almost 20 days, and provide an official explanation.

At the same time, the mayor shared with members of the House Committee on Economic Development, Planning, Telecommunications, Public-Private Partnerships, and Energy information on the energy status of the municipality, which shows that there are still thousands of families without electricity service.

Through a press release, Miranda Torres said “the Representative of the [Puerto Rican] Independence Party, Denis Márquez, requested information on the energy situation of the city, and we shared with him the evaluation we made with a geo-referenced map with all the details of the places that are still without service.”

“I am grateful for representative Márquez’s initiative since, at this time, what I am looking for are allies who can help my people,” the mayor said. “The country’s situation cannot be solved by looking at political colors. Solutions must be sought with speed and unity of purpose; that is what our people need.”

“Thousands of families in sectors of the Borinquen, Beatriz, Río Cañas, and Tomás de Castro neighborhoods have been without electricity since the passage of Hurricane Fiona, without any certain information as to when they will have it,” Miranda Torres added. “There is a limit to patience, and LUMA hindered the hiring of private brigades that the mayors wanted to hire. Today, 20 days later, families with bedridden people who depend on machines to live continue without electricity.”

Miranda Torres noted that “a week ago, I requested this information so that Caguas families and the municipality could prepare and adjust their budgets.”

“Municipal staff and I have been supporting the LUMA brigades,” the mayor said. “We have worked tirelessly, but the damage to the infrastructure of Caguas has been severe. They have to bring brigades, hire people, activate the people of UTIER [the Electrical Industry and Irrigation Workers Union], whatever it takes to prevent the loss of lives in our city.”

Miranda Torres noted further that “Mr. Abner Gómez said this week that 97% of Caguas had been energized.”

“This is not possible when we already know that entire sectors such as Ramona, Naranjito, Buenos Aires, Lajitas, Villa Coquí, Colinas de Villa Coquí, Alturas de Villa Coquí, Borinquen Atravesada, from Colmado Esther, in a tour of the Borinquen and Beatriz neighborhoods to Cayey, do not have power service,” the mayor insisted. “In fact, we have direct contact with almost 16,000 citizens through text and social networks, and in a sample of 1,500 customers, only 70% have electricity. And we have the addresses and phone numbers of those people.”

“We want cagüeños to return to their daily lives,” Miranda Torres said. “The Weather Service is monitoring two new systems, and the hurricane season is not over. We must respond to the people of Caguas to be ready until the hurricane season ends. We expect an answer for Caguas.”

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