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JLeslie's avatar

How long for most of San Juan to get most of its power back?

Asked by JLeslie (57657points) September 21st, 2017 from iPhone

I keep hearing 4–6 months for Puerto Rico to get their power back. Is that the news just giving partial information again?

Is the 4–6 months estimate for total restoration? Is there a separate number for San Juan? I’m hoping the major cities will have at least 50% electricity within 2 weeks, but that is a number totally made up in my head.

Have you heard anything more specific than the 4–6 months number? Or, what exactly the 4–6 months means?

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22 Answers

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Some of San Juan will get power back in less than 4 months, operative Some.
My opinion (worked in Puerto Rico 12 years ago) most likely it could take more than 6 months for the island to get all power back. A lot of the island is rural.
The Florida Keys could take a lot longer.

jca's avatar

NYTimes has an article today that says “a long time.” They said the power was crippled from the previous storm (I can’t even keep track which storm was the previous storm), and theirt power grid is unstable un the first place. Article also mentioned cell towers down and radio stations are off the air. It also mentioned them being in an economic crisis.

JLeslie's avatar

I just have this feeling some of the electricity in San Juan will be back on in a week, but that’s based on nothing except gut feeling and I guess optimism. My “feeling” means little to nothing, so I was wondering if there were any more specific reports that I hadn’t seen.

The news most likely won’t readily report as the power comes on in the country.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

North Carolina and South Carolina are still making repairs to infrastructure from hurricane Matthew last year.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

You will get all updates here first:

Puerto Online Rican Ham Radio index portal

As communications improve, other media will be back online:

Puerto Rican Online Radio Stations

Puerto Rican Online Newpapers

Muad_Dib's avatar

Puerto Rico got a near-miss with Irma, and “only” got the outer winds. With Maria, they got a direct hit.

It’s not pretty. Fortunately, our President is sending 75 million dollars to Isreal, so at least he’s helping.

JLeslie's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus I’ll check out those links.

There are a lot of Puerto Rican’s where I live, and I have one good friend here who is PR and her son and some of her extended family live there. I know she will message me once she hears from them.

@Tropical_Willie Which goes with a point I just made to a friend on fb. Why is there very little to no information in the news about the continuing recovery in Houston, FL, and many of the islands? It’s like the news can only focus on one thing at a time, but with a 24 hour news cycle I think we should expect more.

Some areas in PR will probably never be the same. When Andrew came through Homestead, FL it did not all get rebuilt. Maybe now many years later it is, but I know for years it wasn’t.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

^^Homestead AFB, the main employer in the area, was written off as a complete loss and de-activated soon after Andrew. It will be awhile before that area becomes anything but another remote Miami bedroom and fuel stop on the way to the Keys..

JLeslie's avatar

^^Oh right. I don’t know why I didn’t recall the AFB when I wrote my answer. I haven’t been to Homestead in 20 years probably. I have no idea what it’s like now. I used to go south to the Falls shopping mall north of Homestead for work, but not beyond that.

JLeslie's avatar

I just read the San Juan airport is opening today (maybe it’s open already) to receive military and rescue flights, and that tomorrow it will be open to commercial flights.

I went to the airport website and the American flights that have recognizable names to me say cancelled, but lesser known airlines don’t show cancelled. I don’t know if it’s not updated, or if there are flights going in and out of some sort besides official rescue missions.

I assume this means the airport has electricity, even if it’s generator electricity and not from the grid.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Airport is open, for military today 9/21 and commercial will start 9/22. Still running on back-up generators, no air conditioning in the airport.

Muad_Dib's avatar

I posted a link to some pictures of Puerto Rico in the meta check-in thread. It’s really not pretty.

JLeslie's avatar

^^Like we said, cat 3 and higher direct hit—holy shit. My girlfriend here hasn’t heard anything from her family, which is no surprise obviously. She doesn’t seem panicked about her family, just general concern. I’m glad she isn’t freaking out. She said she saw photos of the town she is from and it was flooded. I don’t know if she still has family there, I just know her son is in SJ and she has other relatives in PR.

I actually went on American Airlines website an hour ago and there are flights in and out of Orlando to San Juan. Orlando is our closest airport. At least they can get people and supplies in and out of there.

Have you heard anything about when some electricity will start coming on line? Or, are they saying months until anything power is restored? For some reason every time I tune in in the TV I never get information on that.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Here’s the power update from 8PM 9/21/2017.

JLeslie's avatar

^^Thanks. I feel like I still don’t know if they mean months until one light can go back on, or if they mean complete, or almost complete restoration. How do you interpret it?

That article talks about what I said to someone as the hurricane was still over top of the island, I would replace all very damaged roofs with Tesla solar roofs if it’s available now, and rates for wind. I looked into it many months ago, and they still were in preliminary phases for bringing it to market, I don’t know now. Wind also is a good idea. I wish I had had solar when my power went out during Irma. It would not have helped me at night (without battery back up) but as soon as the sun came out I would have had everything back on.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

^^That sounds like a perfect opportunity and environment for beta testing the Tesla roofs, and a chance at some excellent PR. I wonder if Mr. Musk has thought about that. He’s pretty good at these things and an excellent innovator. There is no harm in emailing him the idea.

University of Michigan has developed a structural sheet glass solar window suitable for skyscrapers that they claim one or two city blocks of which will power whole cities including their suburbs. They were ready for field testing a few months ago when I first read about it. They were taking bids from corporations willing to test them.

This might also be an opportunity to put them in place during rebuilding of places like downtown San Juan, Bayamon and Carolina. And don’t forget Roseau, Dominica. They probably wouldn’t mind a little clean solar energy, being the capital city of an island that is a jewel of world eco-tourism.

JLeslie's avatar

^^The tragedy could turn PR into a fabulous new energy trial, but for now it’s scary to think people could be there for months without power. I’m sure there will be generators, but it’s going to be a long recovery in many areas. I’m thinking a few hundred thousand people might come over to the mainland if they aren’t able to work.

I’ll tell you what. The building my SIL lived in in Dom Rep years ago, almost every day they lost power and the generator turned on.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

^^I imagine they still have places like that in the States. In Key West, in the mid-Seventies, we would be without electricity for a few hours per week, usually during peak hours. For long periods of time we would have no water from 1pm to 6pm to conserve the limited fresh water in the cistern towers around town. Everyone stored water in 1 gal. milk jugs to flush their toilets during the afternoons,, or if on the shore, used sea water.

JLeslie's avatar

^^Dint even get me started about the water. We just had so much water fall from Irma that the lakes and retention ponds are over full and my lawn is so dry I had to start watering it again. In southeast Florida house around “lakes” tapped into the lakes to water the lawns. I never paid for water in south Florida for my lawn. Here, at least they use reclaimed water for the lawns, but we pay for it. I wonder where the reclaimed comes from? The lakes don’t look like they’re receding so fast. I think if people were watering lawns from there, they would already be much lower.

It would be cool if toilets used reclaimed water too.

Muad_Dib's avatar

It’d be super-rad if people just used native plants in their yards instead of trying to make it look like a Scottish golf course, but hey, aesthetics, amirite?

JLeslie's avatar

^^I agree. The courtyard homes here often have zero grass, and the plants around the house that need zero to no additional water. Many people buybthose homes specifically, because they are such low maintenance. I can’t say that for my house, but my lawn isn’t very large.

Luckily, this summer, I didn’t have to water my lawn for almost 6 weeks straight. I’m going to be redoing the landscaping and I’d like to put in plants that don’t need much water. When I was in Boca I used a lot of cactus family plants, which was great. Here, I don’t see that a lot. I was just looking at the gardening clubs, and I was thinking of checking in with them about plants and watering needs before I decide what I’m going to do.

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