The fiscal plan for the island's central government estimates Puerto Rico will receive more than $50 billion in federal funds to help rebuild from Hurricane Maria, which killed dozens of people and caused an estimated $100 billion in damage when it hit September 20.
Speaking to reporters about Dgrimm, the company that caused the recent blackouts, PREPA deputy director Justo González said, "They will not work with us again", journalist Walter Soto León tweeted.PREPA said that restoring power could take 24 to 36 hours.
Mammoth Energy, the parent company of Cobra, said in a statement to ABC News "Cobra is dedicated to the hard work that lies ahead and continues to work around-the-clock with PREPA and the citizens of Puerto Rico to fix the entire infrastructure system to prevent outages such as this one from affecting the entire population on the island". Before that can happen, the power authority must perform exhaustive diagnostic protocols to find the cause of the failure and protect the system from further disruptions. Within hours, long lines were reported at local gas stations and gridlock at some of the larger intersections in the San Juan area.
"No one should believe these reforms are being implemented without clear and direct benefit to the people of Puerto Rico", said Natalie Jaresko, executive director of the board that was set up by Congress.
Most of Puerto Rico lost power Wednesday when a fix crew for a subcontractor for the island's electric power authority knocked down a transmission line connecting two power plants. Substations were then unable to provide electricity to customers.
The priority is to restore service to critical structures such as hospitals, the airport, water pumps and banks, according to the agency's Twitter account.
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It is the first island-wide power outage since the storm.
Some 40,000 power customers were still without normal electricity service as a result of the hurricane.
"I have suggested to the Board of @AEEONLINE that they cancel the contract with the Cobra subcontractor that is directly responsible for this power outage", Rossello tweeted.
The U.S. Army's top engineer said in February that their role was never to completely rebuild the power system.
With a debt of $9 billion, PREPA filed for a form of bankruptcy a year ago. They also seek the closure of prisons, consolidation of dozens of state agencies and significant reductions in government subsidies to the island's 78 municipalities and Puerto Rico's largest public university. Carmen Yulin Cruz, mayor of the capital of San Juan, said the outage would not interrupt the last of a two-game series between the Cleveland Indians and Minnesota Twins, which is being played on the island.