In addition to its many other devastating human consequences, Hurricane Maria left the island of Puerto Rico with its power grid in ruins. Power was knocked out throughout the island, with an estimated 80 percent of its transmission and distribution wires incapacitated. When hospitals and other critical users could not get backup power and water supplies ran low, an extended outage became a humanitarian crisis that has yet to be resolved.
This shameful outcome should have been avoided with strong, swift federal leadership. Yet more than five weeks after the storm, only about 40 percent of the grid has been rebuilt, and service remains unreliable even where power is restored.
As the recovery process inches its