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Hurricane Irma Will Likely Knock Out Power in Puerto Rico for Months

10 September 2017, 03:40 | Melanie Burgess

Hurricane Irma Will Likely Knock Out Power in Puerto Rico for Months

American Airlines 2

The storm passed just north of the island Wednesday.

On St. Martin, a part-French, part-Dutch possession where at least four people died as a result of the storm, aerial footage taken by the military showed streets inundated with water and homes devastated by winds.

Having made it through the storm, the pilot, crew and ground staff had yet another challenge ahead of them: unload all passengers and luggage, clean the aircraft, board a plane full of new passengers and get out of San Juan before Irma unleashed her worst on the Puerto Rican capital.

Key West's airport is expected to close at 8 p.m. Friday, according to the airline. The decades-long history of loans and a total crushing $9 billion debt has put the island in a position where it can not borrow more money for reparations.

"The Harvey experience had an effect of people", lawyer Nereida Melendez, 59, said as she walked along a beach-side road covered in sand and palm leaves. "Irma is expected cause unsafe winds, storm surge, rip currents and rainfall impacts across the local islands".

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Rossello told a morning news conference that it was too soon to say when power would be restored. The U.S. government has called states of emergency in Florida, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Before the flight even took off, the internet was wondering just what would happen, with Facebook user Wladimir Castro posting a video of the flight as it was leaving Puerto Rico. Ojeda anxious that and the demand for quick repairs to the power grid could lead to longer-term problems. The damage was less severe than he had seen in past hurricanes, including Hugo in 1989 and Georges in 1998, both of which had torn off the roof.

"Thank God - in the area we live, where they're staying - it wasn't as strong as they thought it was going to be", Arias said. More than 1 million customers were without power Thursday, and a little more than half of the hospitals were functional.

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