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Restoring Power To Puerto Rico's Last 2 Percent

Editor's note: The 360-degree video above has 360 audio and is best experienced with headphones. Scroll around for an immersive experience.

In the mountainous regions of Puerto Rico, tens of thousands of residents are still waiting for the lights to come back on. Why is power restoration for the last 2 percent of people taking so long?

One reason is the rugged terrain, which makes it difficult to get large poles and heavy machinery to the island's most remote communities. Often, helicopters are the only way. Power crews are at work daily, but returns are diminishing. It takes more and more effort to energize fewer and fewer homes.

When the lights come back on after so long, it can feel like a rebirth. Neighborhoods erupt in celebration and shouts of joy echo across valleys.

Federal and local officials say everyone on the island will have their power back before the start of hurricane season on June 1. Many people doubt it'll happen. With less than a month to go, it's a waiting game.

Watch the video here.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Adrian Florido
Adrian Florido is a national correspondent for NPR covering race and identity in America.
Nick Michael is the Acting Supervising Editor for Video at NPR. He joined NPR in 2014 as the lead video producer for Jazz Night in America, NPR's first program with companion radio and video content. Jazz Night's 2017 portfolio earned a Peabody nomination and a Webby Award for Online Film & Video. Since then, he has co-managed the growth of NPR's award-winning video team, highlights of which include co-crafting the look of NPR's signature interviews with President Obama, leading NPR's experimentation with 360 video and audio and coordinating 22 filmmakers across the country to document 2017's solar eclipse. Before NPR, Michael co-founded 1504, a creative video studio now based in Birmingham, Ala. He earned a masters in photojournalism at the Missouri School of Journalism.
Andy Huether
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