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Thu Feb 22, 2018, 04:13 PM

Puerto Rico should rebuild power from scratch: U.S. Fed official

Source: Reuters

U.S. FEBRUARY 22, 2018 / 10:11 AM / UPDATED 22 MINUTES AGO

Puerto Rico should rebuild power from scratch: U.S. Fed official

Jonathan Spicer
3 MIN READ

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Puerto Rico should “start from scratch” rebuilding its already outdated power infrastructure after deadly Hurricane Maria last year devastated it and left citizens marooned, the U.S. central banker overseeing the island territory said on Thursday.

New York Fed President William Dudley did not comment on U.S. interest rates in a presentation of research on the effects of the storm that struck on Sept. 20. It was the worst natural disaster in 90 years and the largest government bankruptcy in U.S. history.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York, whose district includes the Caribbean island, said Maria wiped out about 4 percent of its jobs, the fifth-worst among U.S. disaster regions in recent decades. Dudley said it will likely take “many more months” to restore electricity and critical infrastructure to Puerto Rico, adding it was unclear how many of the tens of thousands of residents who fled will eventually return.

Given the already outdated and inefficient power plants, he said, “now is a perfect opportunity for Puerto Rico to essentially start from scratch and build a resilient power generation and distribution network.”

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Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-fed-dudley/puerto-rico-should-rebuild-power-from-scratch-u-s-fed-official-idUSKCN1G61Y7

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