Puerto Rico

Joey Palacios / Texas Public Radio

CPS Energy sent two of its workers to Puerto Rico to assist in overseeing operations as power is restored to the U.S. territory. Much of the island has been without electricity since Hurricane Maria hit in September.

With guest host Tom Gjelten.

Grammy-nominated saxophonist Miguel Zenón talks jazz and his native Puerto Rico.

This show airs Thursday at 11 a.m. EST. 

Guest:

Miguel Zenón, saxophonist and composer with multiple Grammy nominations, including best Latin jazz album for his latest album “Tipico.” (@miguelzenon)

After the storm blew out her windows, Maria Enid Rodriguez lost water, Internet, power and her entire home office. Her company offered her a one-way ticket to be with family in New Britain, Conn. Rodriguez refused. She said that it was a round trip ticket or nothing. She wanted to come back.

"I went to New Britain for 10 days," she said, through her tears. "Not for me. For them. For my daughters. They have to see me, that I was okay."

Outside Puerto Rico's capital, a three-story-high mountain of debris and waste sits smack in the middle of what was a suburban soccer field before Hurricane Maria devastated the island.

Blue bleachers peek out from the edge of the trash pile, as a line of trucks rolls in to dump even more tree branches and moldy furniture. Workmen wearing yellow hard hats operate diggers to add the new waste to the growing pile in the center of the field.

Puerto Rico is in the midst of the worst electricity outage in U.S. history. Most of the island remains without power more than two months after Hurricane Maria hit the island.

Some Puerto Ricans are saying that the current crisis should be a wake-up call that the island needs to move to a less centralized power system — and that solar power might be part of the solution. In other words, they believe Puerto Rico should follow the lead of many developing nations where solar power production is expanding rapidly.

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