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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Governor urges mayors to sign a collaborative agreement with LUMA before touching power lines

Gov. Pedro Pierluisi

By The Star Staff

Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia said Monday that mayors interested in helping to restore power in their municipalities should sign a memorandum of collaboration for that purpose.

“My call is for them to sign the memorandum of collaboration already in place with LUMA [Energy, the electricity transmission and distribution system operator], which ensures that no one’s life is endangered when work is done near distribution lines,” the governor said in response to questions from the press. “It is important to say that so far we have not had any accidents. Help is accepted, but as [Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority Executive Director] Josué Colón [Ortiz] said, this is not [an easy task]. When this work is done, it must be done in a safe way.”

The governor described as conservative the projection issued by LUMA Energy to complete the reconnection of service to about 91 percent of customers by Friday of this week.

“[Early Monday], the LUMA team, the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, and the co-generators had a roundtable with the media and established conservative goals. Mine have always been more aggressive,” the governor said, adding that last week he demanded that the energy reconnection be done by last Wednesday, which did not occur.

“They indicated that by Friday of this week, it could be that 90 percent of the population would already have their electrical service,” Pierluisi said. “Well, I hope it will be sooner, by the middle of this week.”

He insisted that the island’s southern region received “more damage,” so reconnection could take more time there.

“It may take longer. … I was in Ponce [on Monday], and I expect the same, that [electrical service] will be normalized in two or three more days at least,” he said.

Pierluisi also noted that he asked LUMA Energy to be in better communication with mayors.

“It is important that there is good communication with the mayors,” he said. “What happens is that LUMA staff do not want to commit to restoring service for an exact date and time, and look bad, but they should inform the mayors.”

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