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Hours after the mayor of Bayamón, Ramon Luis Rivera Cruzannounced its intention to begin this Friday the repair of the power lines affected by Hurricane Fiona, the company LUMA Energy agreed to enter into a memorandum of understanding that would authorize it to carry out the work.
For this reason, the works to replace poles and install the cables would begin tomorrow, Saturday, in the La Peña community, in the Guaraguao neighborhood of Bayamón, and not this afternoon as planned, reported the Bayamo leader.
“LUMA officials communicated with this server (to say) that yes, we are going to be signing a MOU (memorandum of understanding) and that we are going to comply with all security and code protocols. That is not a problem,” he stated.
The agreement that LUMA would sign with Bayamón would represent a change of direction. Shortly before Rivera Cruz announced the step that would be taken, the director of Market Transformation at LUMA, Daniel Hernandezcalled on the mayor not to interfere with the work of the company.
“I urge the mayor (of Bayamón), to approach us and explain to us what he intends to do and, then, we can have an understanding of what he wants to do and we can explain to him what our work plan is for that specific area,” said Hernández.
Rivera Cruz, for his part, stated that the LUMA staff was the one who contacted him to start a conversation. He noted that he immediately activated his Legal Division to draft the agreement and sign it.
“We are not going to energize, because we cannot do that. But what are we going to be doing? Where there are fallen poles, which are disconnected today, we plant or drive in a new pole, we leave the ravisa on. Where there is a line that has vegetation on it, but the line is good and the line is dead, we will also be certifying that. We freed the line of all that vegetation. It is that type of work (that we are going to do) so that when the LUMA brigade comes, it can start connecting. What we do with this is that we advance work to shorten the response time, ”he specified about his intentions.
He argued that the municipality has hired electrical engineers, electrical experts and other specialized personnel to be able to do the work. In addition, they have specialized trucks to install the posts.
Immediately, he could not specify how much money the municipality would have to disburse in these works. However, he assured that everything would be reimbursed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
As detailed by the Bayamo chief executive, it is in the areas of the fields that the power lines were affected. He explained that the cables fell due to landslides. He said that in the area where they will start, the community of La Peña, was the most affected.
The mayor’s entry into action occurs several days after he launched a site for LUMA to energize his city.
Rivera Cruz said that by this Friday the electricity service had already reached 55% of Bayamón. He explained that the only hospital that remains without electricity is the Bayamón Regional Hospital, given that it has an “internal” problem.
On the other hand, the mayor of San Sebastián and the person who created the so-called “Pepino Power Authority”, Javier Jiménez, has not yet decided to begin repair work on downed lines and poles. He preferred to make a call to Governor Pedro Pierluisi to “call a chapter” on the LUMA Energy company and the Electric Power Authority (PREPA).
He explained that he will not activate the Pepino Power Authority, because LUMA has informed him that the problem in this town is that there is no energy production necessary to start providing the service.
“What happens is that a brigade is needed to increase power generation and I don’t have that,” he said in a telephone interview with this newspaper.
However, the municipal executive alluded to the fact that someone may be “lying” to him. It is that he commented that he heard in a press conference the director of PREPA, Josué Colón, point out that there are no power generation problems and LUMA has justified the lack of power in his town to generation problems.
“My position is that the governor has to assume leadership in the electric power situation. It appears that there is a fight between LUMA and PREPA. The director says that he has 75% generation and towns like ours without power, because there is no generation. Well, there’s something wrong with that equation. It is up to the governor to call PREPA and LUMA to a chapter to see what is happening,” he urged.
He pointed out that in his town “there are few” downed power lines and poles to repair.