PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Puerto Rico is shrouded in darkness for the first time in Hurricane Maria hit last September.
According to officials, the island-wide power outage was caused by an excavator that hit a transmission line, cutting power to 3.3 million residents. While power has been restored to majority of the island, several people are still in the dark.
“I want to say I was surprised, but I wasn’t just because its been happening a lot,” Providence College student and Puerto Rico native Gabriella Short said. “And I feel like at this point we’ve all been desensitized so we’re just like, ‘Ok, again!'”
Short said her family lives in Puerto Rico, and was also there when Hurricane Maria hit battered the island.
“One day they have power, the next day they don’t,” Short said. “This past week has been a little rough. My house currently doesn’t have power. I believe we did have power yesterday, but there was a full blackout the day before.”
Short said her house luckily has a generator, but many on the island do not.
Short’s classmate at PC and native of Puerto Rico Aura Rexach returned to Puerto Rico this weekend, exploring the inland parts of the territory.
“Nothing has been done over there,” Rexach said. “There’s people who literally don’t have a roof they just have a blue blanket on their roof.”
Rexach said her family’s power has been restored, but they’ve become used to losing it, especially following Hurricane Maria.
In those seven months since the hurricane hit, 44,000 people still haven’t had their power restored.
“It’s something people in Puerto Rico are dealing with everyday and kind of how the news cycle goes people forget about it and it’s still very real for us,” Short said.
Some people on the island have been without power for even longer, since Hurricane Irma hit Puerto Rico’s coast prior to Hurricane Maria.