Thursday, March 23, 2023

Think Strategically: Eight Days and Seven Nights: Puerto Rico’s Total Blackout

By on October 5, 2022

Eight days and seven nights would usually make for a great vacation, a trip or a life-changing experience one would not easily forget. For the second time in the last five years, our lives in Puerto Rico were ushered into a time machine and sent back to the 19th century a mere 24 hours just before Puerto Rico braced for the impact of Hurricane Fiona. In 2017, when Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico directly, it was a Category 5 storm that had just turned into a Category 4 as it crisscrossed the island, entering via Yabucoa and traveling north. We endured 97 days without power; it came back on Dec. 26, 2017.

As Tropical Storm Fiona approached our region just before it became a hurricane, all pertinent entities, including the Government of Puerto Rico, LUMA Energy and the Puerto Rico Aqueduct & Sewer Authority
said that they were all ready to face the storm.

Well, after eight days and seven nights, it turns out that none of them were ready or, at the very least, we should ask what they meant by being prepared for the storm.
– If they were ready to prove that our institutions have failed Puerto Rican again, they were prepared.
– If they were ready to allow 3.2 million U.S. citizens to face a blackout again, they were prepared.
– If they were ready to prove that gas and diesel supplies would run out, forcing hundreds of stores and gas stations to close because of it, they were prepared.
– If they were ready to prove that roads and bridges would fail, from the municipalities of Comerio to Utuado including 20 others, they were prepared.

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