Puerto Rico’s public utility warns Hurricane Irma’s strong winds and heavy flooding could knock out the island’s electricity for as long as half a year in some areas.
Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, the island’s sole provider of electricity, warned Tuesday night that parts of Puerto Rico could be without power for four to six months while the government prepares adequate shelter for more than 62,000 people.
Irma is expected to be the Atlantic’s most powerful hurricane ever outside the Gulf of Mexico and is expected to bombard Florida with powerful winds and torrential rains. The storm hit the Caribbean Islands and the Puerto Rico Wednesday morning with 185 mile-per-hour winds.
Officials believe the storm could create surge as high as 15 to 20 feet. Rainfall could reach up to 20 inches in some spots of the Turks and Caicos isles. If the storm maintains form and size, then it could be larger than the state of Florida, weather forecasters noted Wednesday afternoon.
“The combination of a life-threatening storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline,” the the National Weather Service advisory said in an advisory.
Irma is expected to reach Florida as early as Friday or Saturday morning. President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Rick Scott issued a joint-emergency declaration for all 67 counties in the state.
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