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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Lawmaker demands governor take action with LUMA as pockets in the west remain in the dark

Sen. Ada García Montes

By The Star Staff

Mayagüez-Aguadilla District Sen. Ada García Montes called on Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia to intervene with LUMA Energy in all the areas still lacking electrical service after the passage of Hurricane Fiona, or where service is intermittent.

“It is unusual that at this point, LUMA Energy insists that it has no way of knowing where the pockets without electricity are unless it is the customers themselves who make a claim,” said the senator, who called on citizens to report cases to 1-844-888-5862 (LUMA). “Isn’t it enough with all the millions they are receiving? This is not the ‘world-class private company’ that was going to improve the service.”

The governor told the press last week that he was running out of patience with the private consortium that operates the island’s electricity transmission and distribution system.

García Montes presented, as an example, some 50 families in Añasco that are still without electricity after the passage of Fiona last month. “Mayor Kabir Solares García is the one making the complaint because he suffers the desperation of his people,” she said. “Once again, it is evident that the lack of personnel, vegetation management, and maintenance of the electrical system contributed to a late response in service restoration. I sympathize with Solares and the community.”

Solares García, meanwhile, has told the press that since the end of last year LUMA Energy has promised to work on a program to begin vegetation management in Añasco, which was never executed.

“We can’t talk about Hurricane Fiona as an excuse,” the senator said. “The mayor did his job, and LUMA does not comply.”

“While LUMA management claims that it has 90% of customers with service, the reality is that they left the Mayagüez-Aguadilla district for last,” García Montes added. “The allegation of those percentages is false, as is the allegation that they were prepared for the passage of Fiona. What we are experiencing with the consortium is a fiasco.”

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