Share this article:
Electricity has been restored in the downtown area of Patillas, Puerto Rico, a town adopted by AccuWeather in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, just in time for the holidays.
As of Thursday evening, AccuWeather's adopted town of Patillas, Puerto Rico, has started to regain power, after 94 days.
"People's spirits were lifted last night as the crew worked restoring power. The best Christmas gift at this moment would be to have power," Jose J. Rivera Lebron, local radio host, said.
Power companies worked on the urban power poles and wires with a target date of power reinstatement of Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017.
"The power company Cobra based out of Texas has been working about a little over a month in Patillas," Lebron said.
The power companies have been ahead of schedule and began testing on Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017. They were able to light several streets; however, they refused to power the town all at once, because they want to make sure there isn’t a shortage.
At the moment, percentages have not been issued because it is a very small area that has power.
"The Patillas downtown area has some power already, however, the surrounding communities do not. Power grid tests have been done but the damage is so extensive that when the power is on some generators explode," Lebron said.
Mountainous areas in the town will remain without power until the middle of 2018.
"The government has stated that they want to have power before Christmas by Patillas downtown area. The help continues to arrive in Patillas; such as, food, water, first aid, etc. Myself, the town, the mayor would want to thank AccuWeather and the 'Rays of Hope' initiative for helping Patillas," Lebron said.
Quiz Maker - powered by Riddle
Patillas was one of the first towns affected when Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico as a Category 4 hurricane. Since Patillas does not have a port access, it was largely cut off from relief efforts and shipments of supplies, putting its more than 20,000 residents in a desperate situation with a scarcity of clean water, power, cell service, food staples and other essentials.
AccuWeather adopts remote village in Puerto Rico, set to deliver life-saving aid to victims hit by hurricanes
Photos: AccuWeather delivers life-saving aid to town of Patillas, Puerto Rico
15 photos recall the magnitude, devastation of natural disasters around the world in 2017
AccuWeather responded to the extraordinary 2017 hurricane season with a companywide effort to help victims impacted by Hurricane Maria.
In October, AccuWeather announced that it was adopting the remote town of Patillas, located in the southeastern part of the island, as part of its "Rays of Hope" community initiative.
"When we saw what the people affected by this storm were going through, our hearts went out to them," said Evan Myers, AccuWeather's chief operating officer and senior meteorologist. "As a company that truly understands the impact of severe weather, we wanted to help provide relief where it would make a tangible difference in peoples' lives."
Now there are only seven towns without power in Puerto Rico.
AccuWeather Video Producer Lincoln Riddle spent several days getting a sense of the recovery by interviewing residents, including Patillas Mayor Norberto Soto Figueroa.
"What stood out [the] most is that the people are in great spirits despite all of the issues," Riddle said. "They have found ways to get by and manage, while maintaining hope and a positive attitude."
Comments that don't add to the conversation may be automatically or manually removed by Facebook or AccuWeather. Profanity, personal attacks, and spam will not be tolerated.
The North America monsoon, which has brought localized but dangerous flash flooding to parts of the southwestern United States over the past week, will finally ease back into the upcoming weekend.
Twelve people were injured when a flying lava bomb punctured the roof of a lava tour boat, causing a large hole in the vessel.
While Trump and Putin met for a summit in Helsinki, Finland, on Monday morning, a message about climate change was hung from a church by an environmental activist group.
En promedio, 37 niños mueren anualmente al ser olvidados dentro de un auto.
The tournament is being held in eastern Scotland, a region which has a history of extreme weather that can create chaos for golfers and spectators.
Following a push of dry air during the middle part of this week, a humid and rather wet weather pattern is forecast to evolve over the eastern third of the nation during the latter part of July.
The ongoing Kilauea volcano eruptions in Hawaii have led to the formation of a tiny, new piece of land made of lava, which was initially considered to be an island.
An organizing tropical threat will heighten the risk for flooding from the Philippines to Vietnam and Laos into midweek.